Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Glitter and Glue


~ I received a copy of this book from the publisher or author to facilitate this review.  I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~



Synopsis (from Amazon): From the New York Times bestselling author of The Middle Place comes a new memoir that examines the bond—sometimes nourishing, sometimes exasperating, occasionally divine—between mothers and daughters.
 
When Kelly Corrigan was in high school, her mother neatly summarized the family dynamic as “Your father’s the glitter but I’m the glue.” This meant nothing to Kelly, who left childhood sure that her mom—with her inviolable commandments and proud stoicism—would be nothing more than background chatter for the rest of Kelly’s life, which she was carefully orienting toward adventure. After college, armed with a backpack, her personal mission statement, and a wad of traveler’s checks, she took off for Australia to see things and do things and Become Interesting.
 
But it didn’t turn out the way she pictured it. In a matter of months, her savings shot, she had a choice: get a job or go home. That’s how Kelly met John Tanner, a newly widowed father of two looking for a live-in nanny. They chatted for an hour, discussed timing and pay, and a week later, Kelly moved in. And there, in that house in a suburb north of Sydney, 10,000 miles from the house where she was raised, her mother’s voice was suddenly everywhere, nudging and advising, cautioning and directing, escorting her through a terrain as foreign as any she had ever trekked. Every day she spent with the Tanner kids was a day spent reconsidering her relationship with her mother, turning it over in her hands like a shell, straining to hear whatever messages might be trapped in its spiral.
 
This is a book about the difference between travel and life experience, stepping out and stepping up, fathers and mothers. But mostly it’s about who you admire and why, and how that changes over time.


One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Kelly did it again.  I read The Middle Place years ago and fell in love with Kelly and the whole Corrigan clan. I was beyond excited when I received Glitter and Glue in the mail.  Kelly takes us back to the early 90's and her trip aboard. When she runs out of money, she has two choices, go home or takes a job as a nanny.  She takes the job as a nanny in the Tanner's house.  She is finally able to understand her mother and all that she learned over the years, without even realizing it.  I absolutely LOVE how she reflects back over her relationship with her mother and how it has developed over the years.  She realizes she still (and we always do) needs her mother, even though she a mother herself.  Get ready to laugh a lot, but a few tears will flow too!

P.S.  If you were between 19 - 25 in the early 90's....you will love being taken back through Kelly's memoir.  The flashback had me laughing out loud so many times.

Setting:  In the Tanner's house in Australia.  Mrs. Tanner recently passed away from cancer and Kelly has been hired to be the nanny.  As she develops a relationship with the kids, Milly and Martin, and their half brother Evan, she reflections on her own childhood and her relationship with her mother.

Fast read/slow read:  Very, very fast read.  I couldn't get enough and didn't want it to end.  

What Others Are Saying:  “Kelly Corrigan’s heartfelt homage to motherhood is every bit as tough and funny as it is nostalgic and searching. It’s a tale about growing up, gaining wisdom, and reconciling with Mom (something we all must do eventually), but it’s also an honest meditation on our deepest fears of death and abandonment. I loved this book, I was moved by this book, and now I will share this book with my own mother—along with my renewed appreciation for certain debts of love that can never be repaid.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love
 
“In this endearing, funny, and thought-provoking memoir, Kelly Corrigan’s memories of long-ago adventures illuminate the changing relationships between mothers and children—as well as everything else that really matters.”—Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project
 
“Kelly Corrigan parses the bittersweet complexities of motherhood with humor and grace. Her writing has depth and buoyancy and light. It's a river on a summer day. You slip into the current, laughing, and are carried away by it. Glitter and Glue is a perfect gift for anyone with a mother.”—Mary Roach, New York Times bestselling author of Stiff and Spook
 
“Kelly Corrigan’s thoughtful and beautifully rendered meditation invites readers to reflect on their own launchings and homecomings. I accepted the invitation and learned things about myself. You will, too. Isn’t that why we read?”—Wally Lamb, New York Times bestselling author of We Are Water

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  Absolutely and I highly recommend Kelly's two other books.

For Kelly Corrigan, family is everything. At thirty-six, she had a marriage that worked, two funny, active kids, and a weekly newspaper column. But even as a thriving adult, Kelly still saw herself as the daughter of garrulous Irish-American charmer George Corrigan. She was living deep within what she calls the Middle Place--"that sliver of time when parenthood and childhood overlap"--comfortably wedged between her adult duties and her parents' care. But Kelly is abruptly shoved into coming-of-age when she finds a lump in her breast--and gets the diagnosis no one wants to hear. When George, too, learns that he has late-stage cancer, it is Kelly's turn to take care of the man who had always taken care of her--and to show us a woman who finally takes the leap and grows up.

Kelly Corrigan is a natural-born storyteller, a gift you quickly recognize as her father's legacy, and her stories are rich with everyday details. She captures the beat of an ordinary life and the tender, sometimes fractious moments that bind families together. Rueful and honest, Kelly is the prized friend who will tell you her darkest, lowest, screwiest thoughts, and then later dance on the coffee table at your party.

Funny yet heart-wrenching, The Middle Place is about being a parent and a child at the same time. It is about the special double-vision you get when you are standing with one foot in each place. It is about the family you make and the family you came from--and locating, navigating, and finally celebrating the place where they meet. It is about reaching for life with both hands--and finding it.


No matter when and why this comes to your hands, I want to put down on paper how things started with us.

Written as a letter to her children, Kelly Corrigan's Lift is a tender, intimate, and robust portrait of risk and love; a touchstone for anyone who wants to live more fully. In Lift, Corrigan weaves together three true and unforgettable stories of adults willing to experience emotional hazards in exchange for the gratifications of raising children.

Lift takes its name from hang gliding, a pursuit that requires flying directly into rough air, because turbulence saves a glider from "sinking out." For Corrigan, this wisdom--that to fly requires chaotic, sometimes even violent passages--becomes a metaphor for all of life's most meaningful endeavors, particularly the great flight that is parenting.

Corrigan serves it up straight--how mundanely and fiercely her children have been loved, how close most lives occasionally come to disaster, and how often we fall short as mothers and fathers. Lift is for everyone who has been caught off guard by the pace and vulnerability of raising children, to remind us that our work is important and our time limited.

Like Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift from the Sea, Lift is a meditation on the complexities of a woman's life, and like Corrigan's memoir,The Middle Place, Lift is boisterous and generous, a book readers can't wait to share.



I’m Irish. That must be where the luck comes from, the luck required to find a publisher after filling diaries and journals for thirty years, first in a gingham wonderland from Sears, then in a dorm room in Virginia, finally in a fixer-upper near Oakland, California.
My first book, The Middle Place, was about my father, Greenie, who was very sick at the same time that I was very sick. Next, in 2010, I tried to capture what it has been to my daughters’ mother in Lift. Finally, with Glitter and Glue, my mother gets her due. Now, Mary Corrigan is a complicated topic, as most mothers are. Think stoic, gritty, unbending; one part saint, two parts sergeant. Or, as she put it, “Your father’s the glitter, but I’m the glue. It takes both, Kelly.”
I hope that somehow, given the toppling pile of books on your nightstand, you can find an evening to spare for this story of how I came to wonder who my mom was before I arrived, what motherhood had done to her and who she had become since I left home. Parenthood is so distorting; we all deserve a second, longer look.
You can connect with Kelly on her website (sign up for her newsletter), Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
My sister was so lucky a few years ago when Lift just came out.  She was able to meet Kelly at a Border's in the Detroit area, at a book signing tour.  


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