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Glitter and Glue: A Memoir by Kelly Corrigan
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Glitter and Glue: A Memoir

by Kelly Corrigan

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Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
A great book for both mothers and daughters. ( )
  asomers | Jul 13, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Corrigan, eager to escape the restricting confines of her mother and to explore the world, travels to Australia and takes a job as a nanny of a family broken-down after the death of their mother. Corrigan quickly learns how right her mother might be as she attempts to guide the Tanner family through their loss. I particularly enjoyed her account of her relationship with her mother as I could definitely relate. ( )
  DFED | Apr 11, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I requested this book as an ER knowing it would probably be a hard read for me. It's a book about motherhood and because my mother died when I was ten I sometimes feel like I don't have the understanding to really appreciate these kind of books. They sometimes make me sad or jealous or some other strange mix of emotions. And so, I avoided this one for months. It sat on my nightstand long after it was actually published and no longer really an ARC.

I finished it in a day.

I couldn't help myself. I grew to love the author. She switches back and forth between herself as a young adult in her early twenties to the mother she is today. In her twenties, in the 90s, she moved to Australia for a time and became a nanny to a family who had just lost their mother. The two young children, Martin and Millie, are reeling from their loss. The father works and isn't quite sure how to keep his family moving forward. Kelly, whose relationship with her own mother is complicated, learns to think about motherhood in a while new light.

I ached for the two children who were similar in age to my brother and I who lost our mother so young. I understood Millie's hostility towards her nanny because I had done the same thing to mine. It felt disloyal to let another woman into our lives when all I wanted was a mother. The book is beautifully written and made me cry, but in a way that felt okay. ( )
1 vote RosyLibrarian | Apr 11, 2014 |
Glitter and Glue, Kelly Corrigan
This memoir concentrates on a piece of Kelly Corrigan’s life in which she seems to come of age. From her own description, she seems to have been a contrarian child, not eager to please her mother, far closer to, and more accepting of, her father. After graduation from college, she lived with her grandmother, saved her money and set off to travel with a friend. Unfortunately, she didn’t plan her trip well enough and soon ran out of money. She needed to work, but the only job that she could get that would pay her under the table was that of a nanny, and this was not how she saw herself.
Working for a widower, his motherless children, stepson and father-in-law, was an eye-opening experience for Kelly. She suddenly realized what a responsibility it was to be a parent, but mainly how hard it was to be a mother and how empty someone’s life could be without one. As she got to know the children and extended family, and began to interact more and more with them, she came to understand the enormity of the task. It was daunting, and she wondered if she was up to it. Suddenly, she began to appreciate all her mother had done for her and to understand why she did certain things that she once disagreed with vehemently.
Growing up, Kelly was closer to her father, and she did not particularly like her mother’s parenting skills. Her mother was a no-nonsense figure who made the rules and set the standards to be followed. Her father was the softie, the Yin to her mother’s Yang. Her mother told Kelly that her father was the glitter and she was the glue, and from that, the title was born. As Kelly began to mature into a responsible adult, she became more and more like her mother and understood the value of having both the glue and the glitter in one’s life.
Through several emotional events, Kelly seemed to work her way toward self-discovery and a greater understanding of her own life and superficial relationships. When she had to deal with life on a more serious note, when she had to operate on a more adult level, she realized how important her actions were because they had consequences which could sometimes be quite serious. She had really been immature and unaware of the intricacies of the workings of a home and a family. She took everything for granted and often made several foolish, thoughtless choices.
With this memoir, she introduced the reader to the true story of her relationship with her mom and she explored her newfound respect for her as she grew, married and had a family of her own. She discovered how much her mother meant to her, even though she was not affectionate, not demonstrative. She laid the foundation of Kelly’s parenting skills. Her mother was not a bubbly, carefree parent, although she was described that way by those with whom she worked. She had facets to her personality that Kelly never realized.
I didn’t find Kelly that likeable as a child or young adult. She seemed to want to push the envelope too much, to be defiant without giving a thought to the reactions her actions would generate. She shoplifted; she lied, often acted without thinking things through, made rash decisions, even while working as a nanny, while she was responsible for the care of minor children. She just seemed so spoiled and immature, at times, and completely self-absorbed. Most of her thoughts dwelled on anything in pants. She was always fantasizing about something sexual, and she drank too much even when it was inappropriate, forgetting that she should be on her toes since she had to care for two small children who depended on her.
I was surprised at her mother’s behavior as well. Although the dangers of smoking were well known as Kelly grew up, her mom smoked like a chimney in small, enclosed spaces, without regard for the danger she was posing to her family. They all seemed so wrapped up in themselves. I didn’t find her description of her mother’s antics to be that authentic for someone her mother’s age, but rather for someone a generation older. Women of her generation didn’t wear hair spray or sleep with satin pillows to protect their coiffure. Perhaps it would have been a more appropriate description of her grandmother.
To me this was a memoir about self discovery. As she matured and rediscovered her mother, she saw her mother in herself. She became more open to the different facets of her mother’s personality, more understanding about how her mother raised her. She seemed to have matured late and learned about true relationships and human emotions through trauma or necessity.
The memoir didn’t feel real for my world. I thought she simply took one major event and used it to jump off into a description about her learning experience about parenting and her relationship with her mom. Any event might do. It didn’t feel unique or creative. I could not identify with her or her experiences with her mom and hardly with how she felt about her children. My experience with my own daughter and her family does not parallel Kelly’s in the slightest. None of the people I know fit so neatly into any category. In the end, she discovers how much she truly cares for and emulates her mother, but I was surprised that she didn’t learn more from her experiences with the Tanner family. Rather than step into the shoes of her mother, she could have combined a bit of her father and her mother, the glitter and the glue, in the raising of her own children. ( )
  thewanderingjew | Feb 25, 2014 |
Glitter and Glue is an outstanding piece of work. I inhaled every word of Kelly Corrigan's memoir, glued (my apologies) to the page as I followed Kelly through her experiences. Many of the chapters triggered memories and instances of ties with my own mother-daughter relationships. Not everyone is a mother, but almost every female has had a mother, aunt, grandmother, or other female that figures prominently in her life. This book should be placed at eye-level on shelves in libraries, book stores, and at home. I predict it will be the guiding word for those interested in understanding their own multi-generational female relationships. As a public librarian, I plan on adding this memoir to my GIrls Night Out book discussion group. Before that happens, I will be stopping every woman I meet to tell her about this remarkable book. ( )
  laona | Feb 12, 2014 |
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Book description
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.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 034553283X, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:00 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"One of the things you should know about Kelly Corrigan is that she is the daughter of Mary Corrigan, a woman of conviction and grit who taught her kids that No Means No and Actions Speak Louder than Words and if they wanted a bunch of Rah Rah Lovey Dovey, go talk to your father--so Kelly did, over and over again, exiting her childhood with the sense that she'd always have more shared ground with him. But when she arrived in Australia in the summer of 1992, the only job she could find was as a nanny. She thought she was signing up for carpools and babysitting and some light cooking, but what she walked into instead was a household still reeling with grief from the recent loss of the mother. Completely unprepared, Kelly spent five months trying to help the Tanner family pick up the pieces. And to her surprise, she found herself quietly deferring to the wisdom of Mary Corrigan, who once told the young Kelly that her charming father "may be the glitter, but I'm the glue," a pattern that would become more pronounced years later, when Kelly's own daughters were born, and it turned out that each and every day demanded her mother's signature conviction and grit. This is a story about growing up and stepping up, but most of all, it's about the great adventure of motherhood"--… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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