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Red Deer mother and her long-lost son to read from their joint memoir on Tuesday

A Red Deer woman will be reuniting with her long-lost son on Tuesday to give a reading of their joint memoir at Red Deer’s Golden Circle.
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Vonda Peterson of Red Deer and her long-lost son Kelly Neville will read from their joint memoir ‘A Hole in Our Hearts’ at the Golden Circle in Red Deer on Tuesday. (Contributed photo).

A Red Deer woman will be reuniting with her long-lost son on Tuesday to give a reading of their joint memoir at Red Deer’s Golden Circle.

Vonda Peterson, 82, and Kelly Neville, from England, will be reading from their book A Hole in Our Hearts. The event, sponsored by the Ink Blots Writing Group, will be held from 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

This is the first time that Peterson will be reading with Neville, who was put up for adoption as a baby and grew up in the U.K. and Rhodesia.

The mother and son were finally reunited in 1998, when Neville was 38 years old. But Peterson had spent many years trying to access his adoption records.

Peterson was 17 years old when she gave birth at a home for unwed mothers. She kept her pregnancy a secret from almost everyone, and always thought about the son she never got to know. “It was just such a relief that he was alive, he was well, because I’d been thinking about him for 40 years. It was a long time coming,” she said in a previous interview with the Advocate.

Peterson feels writing the book with Neville helped shed the shame and regret of a secret she hid, and put her on the path to healing.

Their book reading will include a question and answer period, some refreshments, a chance to buy the $30 memoir and get it signed by the co-authors.



Lana Michelin

About the Author: Lana Michelin

Lana Michelin has been a reporter for the Red Deer Advocate since moving to the city in 1991.
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