Tag Archives: Memoir

Review: The Middle Place


The Middle Place

By Kelly Corrigan
Publisher: Voice
Pub. Date: December 2008
ISBN-13: 9781401340933
288pp

Here’s the blurb from Barnes and Noble:

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.

The Short of It:

A beautifully written memoir that touches the heart and leaves you wanting more. Funny, poignant, and incredibly moving. I could not put it down.

My Thoughts:

I read this book in the course of two days. Once I started it, I simply had to finish it. Kelly Corrigan is actually quite funny. She writes effortlessly and even though her story centers around her battle with cancer, it’s also very much a story about family and what it means to her. Her relationship with her father, Greenie, was so vividly described that I felt as if I knew him personally. This is a wonderful story of hope and perseverance. It’s incredibly uplifting and empowering as well. I laughed and cried. I just can’t say enough about this book.

This book was sent to me by Jennifer over at Book Club Girl in preparation for the Blog Talk show with the author. The show is scheduled for this Wednesday, 5/27 at 7pm EST. If you’d like to participate, click here for more information. I can’t wait to hear Kelly speak.

Review: The Sum of Our Days

I received The Sum of Our Days by Isabel Allende as part of Book Club Girl’s blog radio show with the author, which can be heard here. Give it a listen. It’s really good.

Here’s the blurb from Barnes & Noble:

In The Sum of Our Days, internationally acclaimed author Isabel Allende reconstructs the painful reality of her own life in the wake of the tragic death of her daughter, Paula. Narrated with warmth, humor, exceptional candor, and wisdom, this remarkable memoir is as exuberant and full of life as its creator. Allende bares her soul as she shares her thoughts on love, marriage, motherhood, spirituality and religion, infidelity, addiction, and memory—and recounts stories of the wildly eccentric, strong-minded, and eclectic tribe she gathers around her and lovingly embraces as a new kind of family.

I really enjoyed reading about Allende’s family. She talks of many challenges and doesn’t hold back when it comes to giving her opinion. She’s frank and honest and I admire that. Writing about your own family cannot be easy. One thing that really moved me is that she addresses Paula, her daughter that passed away, as if she is still there. As if she is just filling her in on what has happened since her illness. I was so touched by this.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the family members and how they called themselves a “tribe”. Their strength and loyalties came through for me. Reading this book was like visiting a very close-knit family at dinner time. Warm and inviting. I’m also glad that she shared some of the writing process with her readers. I am always fascinated with the creation process. Overall, it was a satisfying memoir and memoirs are not usually my thing.