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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A love letter to your kids? Totally corny. So why was I weeping --- on a New York City bus?
I was on the bus, on the way to collect our daughter at her best friend's apartment, so of course I was reading. The book was "Lift", Kelly Corrigan's 84-page snip of a book. My ambition was to finish it in less than 20 minutes --- the time it takes a slow bus, in late afternoon traffic, to get across town.

Yes, I read fast and I am often in a hurry to boot,...
Published on March 16, 2010 by Jesse Kornbluth

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26 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
A tiny book (82 pages) that I read in about an hour. If you are Kelly's daughter, husband, or friend you will love the book. For those of us unrelated to Kelly, the book is a disappointment. I loved the Middle Place, and hoped for more substance in this book. Overpriced at $16.99.
Published on March 13, 2010 by The librarian


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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A love letter to your kids? Totally corny. So why was I weeping --- on a New York City bus?, March 16, 2010
This review is from: Lift (Hardcover)
I was on the bus, on the way to collect our daughter at her best friend's apartment, so of course I was reading. The book was "Lift", Kelly Corrigan's 84-page snip of a book. My ambition was to finish it in less than 20 minutes --- the time it takes a slow bus, in late afternoon traffic, to get across town.

Yes, I read fast and I am often in a hurry to boot, but I was working toward a personal best here for another reason: I had figured the book out. The arc of it was simple. Corrigan's love letter to her two young daughters becomes a meditation on Rilke's line, "The knowledge of impermanence that haunts our days is their very fragrance."

That's an interesting idea. Especially to parents --- we've all had it. The ticking clock. How the days are long, but the years are short. How our kids can't know what they mean to us until they have kids who mean everything to them.

That commonality --- feelings that apply to soccer moms and cynical moms alike --- is the reason that "Lift" will be a Mother's Day gift of choice deep into the next millennium. For Kelly Corrigan is the poet laureate of the ordinary. There's no cliche she doesn't kiss on the mouth. If she has a thought that isn't universal, she suppresses it. No wonder she is staggeringly popular with middle-aged women --- she is her readers.

Proof: Her video about women who transcend the dailiness of life, the cruelties of age and the shock of death has been viewed 4,655,000 times since December, 2008.

Proof: "The Middle Place" - her first book, which is about her marriage and her cancer and her dad's cancer, her kids and her childhood --- is a staple of reading groups.

Proof: Her video for "Lift" shows her --- a pleasant person with sensible glasses, a pony tail and a baseball cap she wears in the house --- playing piano ("Heart and Soul") with her kids, then reading to them from her book. In my version of this video, our kid would flee the camera; these kids soldier on. Which is charming --- or is it exploitative?

My resistance started to crumble when Corrigan began to write about her Stage 3 breast cancer, which kills 4 of every 10 women who get it. (She seems to have beaten it, but...) And then there's the infant with meningitis ("It's one thing to know your child is in pain, it's another to attend it"), and a teenaged boy killed in a car crash, and an aunt who is a great woman and wants kids but has no man, and then the pictures at the end, and .. . And yeah, there's lots about kids having trouble reading "Harry Potter" and feeling bad about small slights and the skinned knees of daily life, but this big stuff --- it accumulates, and then it knocks you down.

Yes, I lost it. Because Kelly Corrigan is very good at what she does. It may be sincerity. It is certainly manipulation. Underneath it all may be a mind so calculating --- a writer's mind --- that she knows exactly where and how to place her detonators. Lord knows there are many. "I am your mother, the first mile of your road," she writes. And, about her kids, "This was my dream. You were my dream."

Sitting on that bus, I fought back the sobs, but the tears streamed down, for I knew exactly what she meant --- my wife and I had married late and started the fertility challenge even later and it's pretty much a miracle that we have our kid.

So those words that Kelly Corrigan writes? They're mine.

And if you are a parent, yours too, I'd bet.

If ever a book ought to come attached to a box of Kleenex, this is it.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Men should be reading this book, March 9, 2010
This review is from: Lift (Hardcover)
I'm a guy. Reading this book helped me to understand how women think, how women feel, what women want, and a lot of things I never knew before. It helped me to understand my mother, my wife, my sister, and all the other women and mothers who have always seemed so mysterious to me.

The author does a fabulous job of conjuring those telling moments in her family life. Her economical use of words in distilling those moments and emotions was simply magical.

Guys, read it when she is finished. You'll be glad that you did.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lift by Kelly Corrigan, March 2, 2010
This review is from: Lift (Hardcover)
I picked up my copy of Lift and sat down on the floor of my bedroom and just read it - I didn't move for an hour. Just as I did with the Middle Place, I laughed and wept. Mostly I felt relieved that like Kelly I don't know what souvenirs to keep and don't know whether I am doing damage when I "verbally discipline" my adorable children but tonight I found myself giggling in my kitchen as I cleaned up the dinner dishes and listened to my 6 and 8 yr olds try to figure out all the words to a Ben Folds song.

Thank you Kelly for telling your stories. They not only entertain, they resonate.
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26 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, March 13, 2010
This review is from: Lift (Hardcover)
A tiny book (82 pages) that I read in about an hour. If you are Kelly's daughter, husband, or friend you will love the book. For those of us unrelated to Kelly, the book is a disappointment. I loved the Middle Place, and hoped for more substance in this book. Overpriced at $16.99.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UpLIFTing LIFT, March 2, 2010
By 
This review is from: Lift (Hardcover)
Like The Middle Place MIDDLE PLACE, LIFT has the ability to cause you to take pause from your busy life and think about what's important to you, what you really care about, and what you should be thankful for. How many books do that? A quick but fulfilling read, a special book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tearjerker to reread again and again, March 28, 2011
By 
K. Covington "YA Librarian" (Mississippi, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lift (Hardcover)
I started this one and, when I teared up within the first four pages, I knew I would have to sit and finish the whole thing. The book is essentially a short little gift that Corrigan has written for her daughters to read years from now to understand their mother's love and I don't know how any mother couldn't relate. She covers the big and little of life that we all go through as parents and how we have to summon up the courage to be there for our kids. I teared up several more times during the book and I'm so glad that this is one that I purchased because I know it is one I will pick up again and again as I raise my own kids. I also enjoyed Corrigan's The Middle Place, so I will be anxiously awaiting anything by her in the future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Read!, September 30, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Lift (Hardcover)
Loved this book! Kelly is very frank and a great writer. I wish she lived closer, I'd want to be her friend! She has been through a lot and expresses it amazingly well. She had me laughing and crying out loud. I can't wait to read The Middle Place.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Memoir with Cutting-Edge Humor, June 8, 2010
By 
Bookreporter (New York, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lift (Hardcover)
Kelly Corrigan wrote with wit and a never-waning sense of wonder about her parents in the 2008 bestseller THE MIDDLE PLACE. She does the same for her children in LIFT, which is short and sweet, occasionally sentimental, stylishly sagacious, and, at times, sardonic. It is a cross between a mother's diary and a sea captain's log, mixing the salty behind-the-scenes true grit of parenthood with a parent's most secret longings for her children.

Kelly has two daughters, who were barely toddling when she discovered that she had breast cancer, the subject of her earlier book. Now they are growing up, maybe too quickly for her taste. "You won't remember how it started with us, the things that I know about you that you don't even know about yourselves...you'll remember middle school and high school, but you'll have changed by then." One suspects --- no, one is sure --- that LIFT is Kelly's way of trying to guarantee that no matter what happens, her girls will have a written set of memories to cherish when the incidents of childhood are long forgotten.

One reason why Kelly may have more than the ordinary mother's zeal to keep those precious moments alive is found in the story of her friend Kathy and Kathy's son Aaron. Aaron was "a joker and an optimist and a ponderer of great and small things." One night he went out to "swing by and say hello to some people" and never came home. "I tell you about Aaron," she writes to her little girls, "because I want you to live longer than he did."

With cutting-edge humor that any parent can identify with, Corrigan tells us that "my default answer to everything is no." But, she confesses to her daughters, "What you probably wouldn't believe is how much I want to say yes." Motherhood is all about that tug of war and the mind's responsibility to say no when your heart wants to say yes.

One of the fine moments of motherhood is captured in a long sequence reliving the time Kelly and her husband thought baby Claire might have spinal meningitis. The harrowing wait for test results, the frustration and helplessness of watching a baby suffer through terrifying medical procedures remind us that all parents have to be brave, make hard choices, and cry inwardly while waiting and hoping without breaking down outwardly. It goes with the territory.

The title of the book comes from the image of hang gliding --- Kelly's friend tells her that the sport involves flying "from thermal to thermal, looking for lift." And though turbulence is dangerous, it's also "the only way to get altitude." Kelly knows, and shows us, that family life also involves looking for lift among periods of turbulence --- because when you find it, you fly.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars celebration of love in more ways than one, March 9, 2010
This review is from: Lift (Hardcover)
I had it marked on the calendar the day that LIFT got released and ran to Borders after work to get a copy (and also the audio version so I could hear Mike E's music)...as soon as I walked in I chuckled because it was front and center as soon as you walked in the door and I thought wow, Kelly's mom would be so happy!! All her hard work paid off. I devoured that book immediately and then also listened to the audio version on the way to work. That book was so heartfelt, and beautifully written that I literally wanted to tell everyone I knew about it. I wanted to talk about it SO bad. My boyfriend and I planned a trip to Philly the week LIFT was released for that Friday-Sunday...on Friday's car ride down I negotiated for him to listen to the audio version of LIFT and he can have the other 3+ hours to listen to anything he wanted and I would not say a word. I think he knew what kind of impact this book had on me and gave in to my request. I thought he was going to complain and throw a fit...instead he was just as moved and touched as I was that something shifted in him internally about our relationship (he have been together for 7 ˝ years). We discussed various parts of the book that were either hilarious or how we would be in different situations and what we want to be like as parents, etc. Needless to say, he was not prepared to do this but that evening he proposed and this book had a lot to do with it...we realized that it's the caring and sharing that comes when life gets busy. Bills need to be paid and errands need to be run. It's the laughing and teasing and working things out. Its learning and knowing what your partner needs without even asking. It's the jokes that only the two of you get. It is about building it together--the good, bad, ugly and like Kelly said Divine...her story is a celebration of love with all the complexity and consequence that real love, in the real world, actually entails and I hope someday I can be half the mother she is.

Jessi S
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious and disappointing, November 22, 2013
This review is from: Lift (Hardcover)
While I am sure her children will appreciate reading this one day, it became tedious after a bit. The journal style is fine for short anecdotes but a whole book? No.
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Lift
Lift by Kelly Corrigan (Hardcover - March 2, 2010)
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