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A mother and son memoir will be launched Sunday at the Red Deer Arts Council office

‘A Hole in Our Hearts’ tells of their separation and reunion
A book launch for ‘A Hole in Our Hearts,’ a memoir by Vonda Peterson and Kelly Neville, will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Red Deer Arts Council, 4919-49th St. (Contributed photo).

A local author will read from a book she co-authored with her long-lost son this weekend at the Red Deer Arts Council’s office.

Vonda Peterson and Kelly Neville jointly wrote the memoir A Hole in Our Hearts about their decades-long separation and later about being reunited “beyond time and geographical distance.”

Peterson, a member of the Writer’s Guild of Alberta, recounts in this memoir the secret she carried for 40 years about a child she gave birth to and put up for adoption. “She imagines what his life must be like and how hers would have been with him. Even after marrying and having two more children, she celebrates his birthday every year.”

Meanwhile, her son doesn’t realize he was adopted while growing up in Rhodesia. “Kelly’s struggles lead him down numerous unimaginable paths that you can’t help but wonder: will he ever find where he truly belongs?”

A Hole in Our Hearts, self-published through FriesenPress, is described as “a memoir about perseverance, belonging, and speaking truths. The stories of the mother and son show how two seemingly separate lives are entwined, connected … and slowly propelling towards one another until they finally meet.”

Peterson and Neville decided to write their individual life stories. After attending Red Deer Polytechnic’s one-week course, Vision and Revision, the mother and son were encouraged to share and publish them.

Peterson, a Red Deer member of the Inkblots Writing Group, has been a prolific writer since a young age. This is her first book. Neville now lives with his wife and two stepsons in Scarborough, U.K. This is also his first book.

A Hole in Our Hearts launch event will be held on Sunday, Feb. 12, at 2 p.m. at the Red Deer Arts Council’s office, at Suite 6, 4919-49th St. The book is available through

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