When I Was Her Daughter

When I Was Her Daughter

by Leslie Ferguson
When I Was Her Daughter

When I Was Her Daughter

by Leslie Ferguson


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2023 Readers' Favorite International Book Awards Gold Medal for Memoir

2023 Outstanding Creator Awards (Winter) Third-Place Winner Best Non-Fiction Book

2023 Outstanding Creator Awards (Winter) First-Place Winner in Family

2023 Outstanding Creator Awards (Winter) Second-Place Winner in Autobiographies and Memoirs

2023 Outstanding Creator Awards (Winter) Third-Place Winner in Women's Non-Fiction & Women's Issues

2023 Outstanding Creator Awards (Winter) Third-Place Winner in Motivational / Inspirational

2023 PenCraft Awards Seasonal Winner (Winter 2023) in Memoir

2022 Memoir Prize for Books Winner in Resilience

2022 Firebird Book Awards First-Place Winner in Parenting and Family

2022 Firebird Book Awards First-Place Winner in Coming of Age

2022 Firebird Book Awards First-Place Winner in Psychiatry/Psychology


This award-winning work of narrative nonfiction is a raw and haunting account of one girl's journey through madness, loss, and a broken child welfare system in Los Angeles in the 1980s.

Seven-year-old Leslie has a serious problem. Someone is trying to kill her.

Her mother Roberta suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, and she writes rambling manifestos and forces her children to live on the run to evade capture by the Russian spies she believes are after them.

With every psychotic break, Leslie and her younger brother face terrifying circumstances despite the fact that Roberta's only wish is to protect them. Who will help them when she is convinced that killing them will save them from a worse fate?

When separated from her family and thrust into foster care for the foreseeable future, Leslie navigates a new kind of fear and loneliness. All she wants is to be loved, but how can her mother ever love her when she is so far away? How can she love her now that Leslie has betrayed her in so many ways? Will Leslie ever see her again?

Ultimately, Leslie remains at the mercy of the adults in her life who can effect change, and she wonders if she will ever find a safe place to land. Nobody will talk about her mother's mental illness, and nothing seems to be able to fix her dysfunctional family. But her sixth-grade teacher gives her hope every day, so Leslie pretends she is-and always has been-her daughter.

An unbelievable true story of grit and heart, When I Was Her Daughter is, at its core, a tale about how the redemptive power of patience and courage leads to unconditional love for a lost and angry child desperate to understand where she belongs.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781952112775
Publisher: Acorn Publishing, Battle Creek, MI
Publication date: 11/12/2021
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.72(d)

About the Author

Leslie Ferguson is an accomplished educator, editor, and writing coach. As a youth in foster care, she dreamed about becoming a teacher. After earning her teaching credential from the University of Redlands, she taught high school English at her alma mater for nearly two decades. During that time, she obtained a master's degree in English literature and an MFA in creative writing from Chapman University. Her work has been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies. A member of the San Diego Memoir Writers Association and the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild, Leslie is a repeat performer at So Say We All's VAMP and Poets Underground. She lives with one husband and two cats in the greater San Diego area, where she binge-watches dark character dramas and reminisces about her glory days as an All-American basketball player and collegiate Hall-of-Fame athlete. When I Was Her Daughter is her first book. Visit the author online at LeslieFergusonAuthor.com.
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