"The Middle Place"

  Not long ago I posted that I was going to start reviewing the books I read on my blog. This is my first book review. The book, “The Middle Place” by Kelly Corrigan.

Cover of "The Middle Place"

             “At 36, Kelly Corrigan had a marriage that worked, two funny, active kids, and a weekly newspaper column. Even then, she still saw herself as the daughter of a garrulous Irish-American charmer, George Corrigan. She was living deep within what she calls the Middle Place – ‘that sliver of time when parenthood and children overlap’ – comfortable wedged between her adult duties and her parents’ care. But when Kelly finds a lump in her breast – and gets the diagnosis that no one wants to hear – and when her beloved father, too, learns that he has late-stage cancer, Kelly finally takes the leap and grows up. And through her bravely honest, funny, and inspirational memoir, she takes us with her.”

            Once I began this book, I couldn’t put it down; the pages seem to turn themselves. Kelly’s relationship with her father and the closeness they share is unmatched by any story I have yet to read; it is how she describes her very existence. Kelly Corrigan seamlessly weaves the past and present as the story of her perfect life begins to unravel around her. She is diagnosed with cancer and the diagnosis of her father’s cancer soon follows.
            She writes of the difficulties that follow. She takes us through her chemotherapy and the family vacations. She writes of the first time she ventures out after chemo to take her daughters to school and a little boy confront her claiming she looks like a monster, and her subsequent freak-out. Then, leaving the girls for her friend to drop off at school, she hurries home to call her husband in tears, to which she relays the following conversation.
            “He called me a monster,” I say, crying and falling into the sofa.
            “Who did?”
            “Jack Lindgren.”
            “That little fucker!” (Her thoughts: I don’t know what to say about a man who calls a perfectly adorable three-year-old a fucker, but “my hero” comes to mind.)

            She takes us on vacation where her baby goes missing and only after a frantic search, is found sound asleep in a little make-shift tent.
            While trying to manage her father’s illness from across the country, she is busy battling her own war against cancer. She writes with soul, with compassion, and with humor.
            I finished this book with an understanding of the journey she calls life that both begins and ends where she is and always will be the daughter of her beloved father, George Corrigan.

For anyone who enjoys reading memoirs, this book should definitely make your short list. I would enjoy hearing from you if you have already read this book or if you read it after my review. What are your thoughts? 

If you would like to purchase the book through Amazon, you may do so by clicking on the Amazon box on the left side of my blog.

Until then – Happy Reading!