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The Middle Place [Kindle Edition]

Kelly Corrigan
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $5.01 (33%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

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.



Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Newspaper columnist Corrigan was a happily married mother of two young daughters when she discovered a cancerous lump in her breast. She was still undergoing treatment when she learned that her beloved father, who'd already survived prostate cancer, now had bladder cancer. Corrigan's story could have been unbearably depressing had she not made it clear from the start that she came from sturdy stock. Growing up, she loved hearing her father boom out his morning HELLO WORLD dialogue with the universe, so his kids would feel like the world wasn't just a safe place but was even rooting for you. As Corrigan reports on her cancer treatment—the chemo, the surgery, the radiation—she weaves in the story of how it felt growing up in a big, suburban Philadelphia family with her larger-than-life father and her steady-loving mother and brothers. She tells how she met her husband, how she gave birth to her daughters. All these stories lead up to where she is now, in that middle place, being someone's child, but also having children of her own. Those learning to accept their own adulthood might find strength—and humor—in Corrigan's feisty memoir.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Kelly Corrigan's utterly absorbing memoir, The Middle Place, is wry, smart, and often heart-wrenching. Corrigan takes us down memory lane and then, at the same time, down some other, darker road most of us hope never to travel. Yet we follow her all the way, quite willingly, thanks to her sharp eye and her great sense of humor." -- Cynthia Kaplan, author of Why I'm Like This and Leave the Building Quickly

"The Middle Place is inspiring, luminous, and true. Reading this memoir, I felt like an honorary member of the Corrigan family . . . Kelly Corrigan is a wonderful writer." -- Luanne Rice, author of What Matters Most

"An amazing story told with steep honesty, buckets of humor and, above all, integrity. The Middle Place is memoir at its highest form." -- Darin Strauss, author of The Real McCoy and Chang and Eng

"Kelly Corrigan has a great sense of humor, an honest voice, and a brilliant way of telling it like it is -- but that's just for starters. It's her heart that really counts. The Middle Place is a love letter to family and home and life." -- Linda Greenlaw, author of The Hungry Ocean and Slipknot

"Kelly Corrigan takes what might have been a fairly standard story of survival, and reframes it, most charmingly, as a coming-of-age narrative. We see here a headstrong girl, under the most severe adversity, turn into a genuinely strong woman." -- Carolyn See, author of Making a Literary Life

Product Details

  • File Size: 387 KB
  • Print Length: 284 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1401303366
  • Publisher: Hyperion (January 8, 2008)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0012095DK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,234 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
193 of 209 people found the following review helpful
By Lia
Format:Paperback
I have struggled with the idea of whether to review this book or not because this book is a memoir about someone's actual life. But I have been mulling this book over for a few weeks since I read it, and frankly, I am mystified as to how it has garnered so many 5 star reviews.

I absolutely loved the first half of the book. I truly did. It was a real, moving, lovely tribute to her dad, known as "Greenie". The anecdotes about him and her early growing up years were so funny. Her description of her family members was so detailed and she gave so many humorous accounts of them, I felt as if I knew them. I also thought how much I would love to have Kelly as a friend. She sounded funny, spunky, and real. If she had stopped the book right there, just as a wonderful reminiscence of her life growing up with her family, I would not be writing what I am about to write.

But just past the second half of the book, the writer's tone and the content becomes whiny, self indulgent, leaving the author sounding like a spoiled child who needs to grow up. She recounts several seemingly unrelated episodes in which she is either bemoaning someone's insensitivity to her needs or is patting herself on the back for how strong she is when she needs to be. Her example of her strength? When she was in the delivery room, she kept screaming "I can't do it!" when it was time to push. But in the end, she stepps up to the plate and pushed, giving birth to her child! What else was she going to do, NOT have the baby?! It is the self-congratulatory way she perceives herself in this instance that is irritating.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What is all the hype about this book; it is dreadful February 23, 2010
By Tara
Format:Paperback
As so many have written, the author is a whiny self-indulgent adult who needs to grow up. The world appears to revolve around her and she appears to be the only one who knows what should take place, who to contact etc and how people should act or believe. I am just grateful my 30 some children don't feel the need to come in my house and rearrange things and replace valued items as she did with her parents home without their knowledge. I was sickened by her take-over of her father when he was ill. She had no compunction about asking her mother for a loan for their house while admitting that she was Daddy's girl and everything was about Daddy or Greenie as he was called and not her mom. To me the real hero of the book is her husband who tolerates this childish, child-like immature behavior and still appears to love her. I just wanted to shake her and say grow-up. I don't understand all the five star reviews for this book and all the hype surrounding it. I finished it just to see what happened not because I was enjoying the book. I just kept shaking my head unreal the more I read of her personality.
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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If you like fluff, then this is for you May 27, 2009
Format:Paperback
My book club read this memoir and all nine of us disliked it. Not one of us thought this was the inspiring memoir of a breast cancer survivor - which is what we expected. If you like reading light, fluffy stuff about people you don't know, then you may enjoy this book. There are some funny stories (when she went to the prom as a freshman, for example), but to read this book thinking you'll hear about a survivor's journey is a mistake. I think she used her breast cancer as an excuse to write a memoir. I found her to be incredibly selfish. For example, she criticizes her mother throughout simply because she was (had to be) the disciplinarian in the family - she even recognizes her unfair treatment but chalks it up to "that's just a mother's burden". What??? Everything had to be about Kelly - especially her father's cancer (she was unbelievably bossy - to the point of bombarding her father's doctor with emails, the poor guy!!! Bless him for his patience with her). Add her whining tone to her selfishness and what a recipe for bad reading. ("It's just so unfair that I can't have more children because it would put my health at risk" - ever consider helping a child in need and adopt? And, "Oh my God, do you really mean I can't drink alcohol anymore? I don't think I can handle that - I, like, live to drink, even if it means temporarily losing my daughter.") I was also very offended by her statement that women are just play-acting at life and marriage until they have children, which, according to the author, is when "real life" commences. Sorry, Ms. Corrigan, but I've chosen not to have children and I think my life and marriage are plenty real. It amazes me that someone can write such fluff and make, presumably, tons of money off of it. Hmmm... I gotta go - need to write my own memoir.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
After reading "The Middle Place", I too was stuck in the middle. My heart goes out to anyone diagnosed with cancer. I expected a story of courage and hope; though there was some offered (hence two stars). My primary feeling was one of dismay, sure I too was impressed by her honesty; however, it is soon overshadowed by her selfishness, she is so brazen, she fails to realize she should be embarrassed. This accompanied by "it's just not fair" and other whining was less than appealing. Of course, if the book was more aptly titled, "IT REALLY is All about ME!" or "Kelly Does Cancer" copies wouldn't have flown off the shelves.

With over 200 reviews, I'll go light on the synopsis. As others point out, the first half is devoted to Ms. Corrigan's childhood with great focus on her charismatic, popular father. It then segue ways into recounting her adult life as she faces breast cancer, her concern at leaving behind two young girls, and the added burden of dealing with her father's diagnosis of cancer and treatment. There is no question that this would be is overwhelming.

I was intrigued by the story having lost three dear friends to cancer. Two died in their early 30's leaving behind very young children. Shortly following the loss of my 32 yr. old neighbor, I watched the struggle and eventual loss a year later, of my woman I befriend, whom I nursed and stepped into the role of: preparing meals; laundry; cleaning; running errands; taking to doctor appointments; middle of the night calls; financial support; taking her children on excursions and even started a Christmas fund for her four (4) young children. She died a long, agonizing death at only 34 weighing 67 pounds having lost more than 150 pounds (this is what happens when you have no health insurance).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked hearing a true life story of what it was like to go through...
True story - good book!
Published 6 days ago by Marian L
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book
Loved this book! Easy read, great for the beach. If you love it, you will enjoy Glitter & Glue just as much or better! Hope to read more from this author in the future.
Published 7 days ago by A 50-something married woman
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it!
This is a great read about family dynamics. Kelly is so real and honest in this book. I loved it!
Published 1 month ago by Cathy Krumm
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Characters and Unconditional Love
I loved, loved this book! The characters are so very loveable and real - that's what I like about them. Read more
Published 1 month ago by blah
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Breast Cancer at it's scariest & funniest.
Published 1 month ago by Joy R. VonBlon
5.0 out of 5 stars My first Kelly Corrigan book
A friend recommended Kelly Corrigan to me and I bought gift books for my adult daughters and myself. I would definitely read more! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Missy LaBrash
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Kelly Corrigan is a really good writer, I love her work.
I have all 3 of her books and they are all keepers.
Published 3 months ago by Cindy M
3.0 out of 5 stars good read
i liked this memoir, though kelly can be extremely annoying and judgmental at times. (not to discredit what she went through...)
Published 3 months ago by Julie R. Cormier
5.0 out of 5 stars A stirring of the heart
I knew this family before I read this book! Just finished Glitter and Glue and I needed more of the Corrigan's. Read more
Published 3 months ago by cheryl rosen
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written.
I can't get enough of Kelly Corrigan. Her writing captures life so accurately and wonderfully. It is a must read.
Published 3 months ago by Whitney
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More About the Author

Kelly Corrigan is, more than anything else, the mother of two young girls. While they're at school, Kelly writes a newspaper column, the occasional magazine article, and possible chapters of a novel. She is also the creator of CircusOfCancer.org, a website to teach people how to help a friend through breast cancer. Kelly lives outside San Francisco with her husband, Edward Lichty.

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