Synopses & Reviews
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 fanny pack full of savings had dwindled and she realized she needed a job. 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, 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.
"Corrigan (The Middle Place) looks back on a transformative period in her life in the early 1990s. As a college grad determined to see the world and find adventure far from the safety net of her Philadelphia-based family (fans of her previous memoir have already met her outgoing dad, 'Greenie,' and her more stoic mom Mary, the 'glitter and glue'), she travels to Australia where she soon runs out of money and takes a temporary position as a nanny to two young children whose mother has passed away. Though disappointed to find herself in a mundane job in the suburbs, Corrigan is quickly drawn into the struggle of a family trying to carry on in the absence of its most 'irreplaceable' member. As widower John Tanner, his young children, and his stepson Evan wind their way into young Kelly's heart, she finds herself thinking more and more of her own mother's voice, of her solid commitment to her children, husband, and faith, and of the lessons one can learn from ordinary life, 'which are big, hard beautiful things.' Initially believing that 'things happen when you leave the house,' the young Corrigan soon finds that life's greatest dramas and deepest messages often unfold within the quiet underpinnings of relationships. The author's fans and newcomers alike will welcome this story that probes the depths of mother-daughter bonds (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Kelly Corrigan is the New York Times bestselling author of The Middle Place and Lift. She is a YouTube sensation whose “Transcending” video has been seen by more than four million viewers. She is also a contributor to O: The Oprah Magazine and Good Housekeeping and is the founder of circusofcancer.org. She lives outside San Francisco with her husband and two daughters.