Review – The Middle Place

The Middle Placeby Kelly Corrigan

From the book jacket –

For Kelly Corrigan, family is everything.  At thirty-six, she had a marriage that worked, a couple of funny, active kids, and a weekly newspaper column.  But even as a thriving adult, Kelly still saw herself as George Corrigan’s daughter.  A garrulous Irish-American charmer from Baltimore, George was the center of the ebullient, raucous Corrigan clan.  He greeted every day by opening his bedroom window and shouting, “Hello, world!”  It was a colorful childhood, just the sort a girl could get attached to.

Kelly lives 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 she’s abruptly shoved into coming-of-age when she finds a lump in her breast – and gets the diagnosis no one wants to hear.  And so Kelly’s journey to full-blown adulthood begins.  When George, too, learns 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 as she finally takes the leap and grows up.

My thoughts –

I picked this up on a whim at the library, I was browsing the “new books” section and it just stuck out to me as something that looked really interesting.  I also tremendously enjoy memoirs, so I thought what the heck.  I’m glad I grabbed it, because this book was pretty wonderful.  Even though I’m not a parent myself, I could really relate to a lot of Kelly’s feelings.  I, too, am a grown woman most days, handling my marriage, job, finances, and everything else just fine, but when something awful happens the first thing I do is call my mom, because I know she can make anything better.  I can’t help it, it’s just instinct, and I can only imagine that when children come into the picture, my urge to go to my mom with every problem will only intensify.  Besides that, I quickly fell into Corrigan’s comfortable, easy writing style.  I felt like I was having a conversation with a friend while reading her memoir.  The chapters alternate between present day (2005 is the time period the book is mostly about) and random points throughout her childhood.  This structure makes you really involved in the current situation, as well as really curious about her childhood and what made her family the way it is today.  Overall I’d highly recommend this memoir and I’m very happy I decided to read it.

8.5 stars.

5 thoughts on “Review – The Middle Place”

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