Inspirational memoirs chosen for the third Lambton One Book

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Perdita Felicien’s memoir, My Mother’s Daughter, was selected to be the title of One Book Lambton’s third annual edition.


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Greer Macdonell of the Lambton County Library calls Felicien’s memoir a compelling story of resilience. It touches on several hot topics and involves the little-known story of a well-known Canadian whose family overcame tremendous hardships before success came to them.

Félicien is best known for winning the gold medal at the 2003 World Championships in the 100-meter hurdles. She’s now an acclaimed sports presenter, but the book examines her mother Catherine’s journey. She came from Saint Lucia to Canada to earn money as a nanny, only to deal with racism, domestic assault and homelessness.

“My Mother’s Daughter by Perdita Felicien is a great story about a mother who worked so hard – her determination in this book is just amazing – to create a better life for her children. And these events really made Perdita the athlete and the person she has become, ”said Macdonell.

Perdita’s determination and resilience in the face of literal and figurative obstacles goes back to her mother, Macdonell said.

The My Mother’s Daughter selection was announced on October 22 by Macdonell and Susan Chamberlain of The Book Keeper.

For the past three years, the One Book Lambton committee has asked readers to celebrate great Canadian authors and stories by reading selected books and participating in activities, forums and shared events to delve deeper into the themes covered in the works. chosen. Reading takes place in the fall, programming takes place in winter, while a climactic event brings it all together in the spring.


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In its first year, Wab Kinew’s memoir, The Reason You Walk, was chosen. The second year, KL Armstrong’s thriller Every Step She Takes was selected. Over the two years, more than 700 people participated in discussions and related events.

Macdonell and Chamberlain are both happy with their selection.

Canadian Olympian, author and host Perdita Felicien.Handout / Sarnia This Week
Canadian Olympian, author and host Perdita Felicien.Handout / Sarnia This Week Photo by Martin Brown /jpg, SW

“I was talking with Susan earlier about Perdita’s devastating fall (in the 100m hurdles final at the 2004 Olympic Summer Games in Athens) and how difficult it was to watch,” said Macdonell. “You could see she was just crushed and it was in front of the whole world.”

“And she was so young,” Chamberlain added. “You wonder how you can cope with something like this. But that’s part of the story, she’s learned to be resilient and she’s been on more and more of the big things.

While My Mother’s Daughter is a sports biography, it’s much more than that, Macdonell said.

“There are so many components in this book. Personally, I don’t read a lot of sports bios, but this one definitely caught my attention, ”she said. “It’s very moving and you make the trip with his family. It gives you a much better perspective than I had before – sometimes you see a person on TV and think ‘there’s a great Canadian’, but hearing the story makes her a lot more. human.

“It’s also a beautiful tribute to his mother,” Chamberlain said. “It gave me goosebumps.”

Copies of My Mother’s Daughter can be purchased from the Book Keeper (500 Exmouth St., or by calling 519-337-3171) or by borrowing it from any of the 25 locations of the Lambton County Library .


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The lineup will be announced at a later date, Macdonell said, though what form it will take is still unknown.

“We have to face all the capacity limits, so we try to temper our expectations, but our hope is that people can come together to talk about the book. But the reality is that we will probably also have virtual programming. “

Felicien is expected to make an appearance in Lambton County in the spring, Chamberlain said.

“If possible, she has made a commitment to come to Sarnia. It should be sometime in April. Or May or June. Whenever she can do it, ”she said. “We’re just trying to be as flexible as possible.”

“We’re really excited about this. Our first year we had a thesis, the second year we had fiction and now we have a thesis again, ”added Chamberlain. “There is so much to explore and the lineup should be amazing. “

For more up-to-date information on this year’s Lambton One Book, visit



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