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Valiant Be cover

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2. Paperback Edition
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  • 270 pages
  • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
3. Hardcover Edition
  • Standard Color
  • 270 pages
  • 6.0 x 9.0 inches

memoir, Canada, Ontario, Canadian memoir, Canadian history, WWII, memoirs by women

Valiant Be
A Memoir of Fortitude in the Face of Adversity
by Heather Mallett

Valiant Be is a remarkable memoir of pain and resilience, and a gripping history of a family that is at once dysfunctional and deeply loving. Heather’s earliest memories revolved around her parents’ purchase and refurbishment of a gristmill beside the Don River, on the outskirts of Toronto. As World War 2 raged, so did tensions at home; Heather’s father was a passionate artist with a mercurial temper, and her mother was a writer who wrote and published a book about their marriage. Although Heather’s young life was chaotic, she learned resourcefulness from her parents, and never doubted their care.

Then, at the age of four, Heather experienced a deeply traumatic incident that would change her forever and lead her to spend fifteen years in therapy for complex post-traumatic stress disorder. Still, her courage never wavered.

Told through a series of vignettes, this vibrant collection of stories follows the author through childhood, university, marriage, mothering, teaching, and working as a calligrapher. Tender, revelatory, and always full of humour, this book is both a valuable time capsule and a fascinating look at how drastically the world can change in a single lifetime.

Heather Mallett photo

Heather Mallett’s first poem was published in a school yearbook when she was seven, and she has been writing ever since. A member of the Anglican Church and the Calligraphy Society of Ottawa, she is active in her community, and enjoys swimming, canoeing, paddle boarding, and creativity of all kinds. Heather is the author of a self-published collection of poetry and photography, REFLECTIONS (2015). She lives in Ottawa, Ontario, with her husband of sixty-one years and their puppy, Bella.


Heather Mallett
A. Angus Macdonald

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