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Glitter and Glue: A Memoir Hardcover – February 4, 2014
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Kelly Corrigan on her new memoir Glitter and Glue
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.
Top Customer Reviews
But, the book is not much as I thought it would be -- rather the contrast of the mother and father are explored primarily in Corrigan's story of her 1992 summer in Australia when she was a young nanny to a family whose wife and mother had recently died of cancer. Corrigan had always assumed that when she married and had children she would be their glitter, and instead she found herself in a complex situation where there were no easy answers. The Australian family consisted of the father (older and an airline pilot), two young children (the names are not the same as the real life family), the father's stepson,and his father-in-law. In attempting to bond with the children, Corrigan finds that it was not simply a matter of indulging youngsters who missed their mother -- in fact there is very little discussion between Corrigan and the children about the mother related in the book, as most of that information comes from Evan, the stepson.Read more ›
For me, the book ended too soon, because the last chapter, when Corrigan reflects on what kind of mother she has become—one much like her own Mom—was the best one in the book. I was a bit bored by her Australian escapes. Grown-up Kelly seems far more interesting than Young Girl Kelly.
Also, I hate to be witchy, but during her rather long stay with the Australian family (a few months) Corrigan makes many references and draws comparisons to Willa Cather’s novel, My Antonia, that she found on the family’s bookshelf and started to read. She never, however, seems to finish the book. Did she read, say, one paragraph a day? Peculiar.
Corrigan has an uncanny ability to show a family's variegated dark and light sides while making you love them all the more. During her youth Corrigan struggles in the relationship with her mom who is old school, stoic, Catholic, stern, and appears to be no fun, while her dad seems to be the best. But after nannying a family in Australia, she learns how great it is to nurture---and how hard!---and she realizes her mom had to be the heavy so that her dad could be the fun one.
I resonate with the forlorn Australian family who loses it's mother. That was my family. My mom was very sick all the years I can remember, and she died three days before my high school graduation. I found myself wanting Corrigan to piece us back together, and I think she sort of did that (at least for me) in the writing of this book.
The author, young, fresh from college, looking for an adventure, shows up, out of money, and finds herself in this awkward family. You can see how her "normalcy" and her ability to nurture, brings healing to all of them. And the family heals Corrigan by giving her an insight of how much she wants to love and nurture others.
I can't imagine anyone not loving this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved this book. Easy read and so much of this book hit home both between my Mother and I and my Daugher and I. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Cmiller
I bought this book to read before Kelly Corrigan came to speak at a Count the Kicks event [...], and it was so well written, that I have recommended it to several friends. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Barbara Petersen
Enjoyed this book from beginning to end. A great read about mother/daughter relationships.Published 25 days ago by Kathy Bollom
The timing of reading Glitter & Glue couldn't have been better. I read it while I sat holding my dying mothers hand for 9 days. Read morePublished 27 days ago by ginny renaud
Good, insightful read. Normally not a fan if memoirs but this came recommended and I'm happy I did.Published 27 days ago by Amazon Customer
She always pleases me with her perspective and wit and insight. She so eloquently says what I feel and think and notice. Reading her books is always a joy.Published 1 month ago by Hambone951
Began with a silly youth but the ending glued it all together very well.Published 2 months ago by Roberta Angel
A very small story that I wasn't expecting to like. Very eloquently written, but not at all flowery. Very honest and not overly self involved. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Rhonda