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The Middle Place Paperback – December 23, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1st edition (December 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401340938
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401340933
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"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

"If you're in a book club or just love to read, make sure this book ends up in your lap, where it will remain until you finish. Plan to laugh, cry, and be consumed by Kelly Corrigan."—Winston-Salem Journal

"Bravely reveals the frightened daughter inside the grown-up wife and mother."—Elle

"Come for the writing, stay for the drama. Or vice-versa. Either way, you won't regret it."—San Francisco Chronicle

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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Customer Reviews

It is a fast read ... read this book in three days.
Busy Mom
Oh, and I guarantee you'll fall in love with Kelly's dad, George ("Greenie") Corrigan like I did.
Sara Ellington
Corrigan's The Middle Place is well written, thoughtfully told, and is a fresh and honest read.
Carol D. O'Dell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

193 of 209 people found the following review helpful By Lia on April 22, 2009
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 By Tara on February 23, 2010
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 By K. Hoffman on 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 By June Bug VINE VOICE on June 27, 2012
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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