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Glitter and Glue: A Memoir Hardcover – February 4, 2014

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Imported from USA

.com Review

Kelly Corrigan on her new memoir Glitter and Glue

Glitter and Glue ( ) I’m Irish. That must be where the luck comes from, the
luck required to find a publisher after filling diaries and journals for thirty years, first in a gingham wonderland
from Sears, then in a dorm room in Virginia, finally in a fixer-upper near Oakland, California.

My first book, The Middle Place, was about my father, Greenie, who was very sick at the same time that I was very sick.
Next, in 2010, I tried to capture what it has been to my daughters’ mother in Lift. Finally, with Glitter and Glue, my
mother gets her due. Now, Mary Corrigan is a complicated topic, as most mothers are. Think stoic, gritty, unbending; one
part saint, two parts sergeant. Or, as she put it, “Your father’s the glitter, but I’m the glue. It takes both, Kelly.”

I hope that somehow, given the toppling pile of books on your nightstand, you can find an evening to spare for this
story of how I came to wonder who my mom was before I arrived, what motherhood had done to her and who she had become
since I left home. Parenthood is so distorting; we all deserve a second, longer look.

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When mother of two Corrigan struggles with cancer, she remembers a mother she never met more than 20 years
earlier in 1992 in Australia. Back then, seeking money to enhance the next leg of her round-the-world travels, Corrigan
became the nanny for a widower, John, whose family—five-year-old Martin and seven-year-old Milly as well as a
garage-living stepson and an in-law-apartment-living father-in-law—had just lost their matriarch to cancer. Though it’s
a true story, Corrigan has changed the names and some of the details to disguise identities. Here, the memories of her
work as companion, surrogate mom, and onetime lover to various family members are filtered through Corrigan’s
experiences, good and bad, of herself as mother and herself as daughter (her mom’s admonitions and pronouncements,
served up in italics, support the young nanny as well as the text, then and now). The flavor of what a youthful,
journal-writing Corrigan probably once hoped this book would be—a spectacle of travel and awesome experience—comes
through in the writing but doesn’t disturb this touching, hard-won paean to mothering and parenting, living and losing.
--Eloise Kinney

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