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The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan

The Middle Place (2008)

by Kelly Corrigan

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Another great book by Corrigan. This is the story of her and her father's cancer scares. Not really scares, it happened, to the both of them, which I guess is pretty scary. Full of stories about Greenie, her father, it was both funny and sad...you laughed, you cried, blah, blah, blah. Can't wait for my mom to read it. ( )
  campingmomma | Dec 19, 2013 |
The way she speaks of her Father, her boundless and obvious admiration of him, is alone a reason to read this book. ( )
  tealightful | Sep 24, 2013 |
Yesterday, I finished listening to The Middle Place and wept.

At 36, Kelly Corrigan's life seems perfect. She and her husband are doing well living and working in the Bay Area and she is embracing motherhood with 2 young girls. Even though she is an adult, she still sees herself as George Corrigan's only daughter. Her father, who is described as larger-than-life, still remains a major part of her life. She is in the 'Middle Place' between when our parents are everything and we are the parents. And then things change. Kelly is diagnosed with breast cancer and her father is diagnosed with late-stage bladder cancer. This beautifully told memoir describes Kelly's childhood as a daughter of George Corrigan and her life as she deals not only with her own cancer, but as a family member of someone who has cancer.

This book touched me in so many ways. It reminded me of when my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer - the frustration of wanting a solution, a cure and discovering that there are no formulas or flow charts to follow that provide a 'right' answer. It reminded me of dealing with my parents' health issues remotely - and those 'fun' family discussions among siblings about what to do next. But what made me cry was knowing that all of us who are still in 'the middle place' will eventually leave when our parents die, and although we will be fine living our own adult lives, there will be a heartbreaking loss of no longer being someone's daughter.

( )
  jmoncton | Jun 3, 2013 |
I really enjoyed this memoir about a woman reflecting on her experience in the Middle Place -- sandwiched between caring for her own children and occasionally her parents. The author alternates between reflecting on relationship and history with the family she was born into, especially her father, and dealing with the with the period in 2004-2005 when both she and her father were fighting cancer simultaneously.

Despite the serious subject matter, Kelly Corrigan is funny and lovable about reflecting on a challenging time in her life. ( )
  JillKB | Apr 4, 2013 |
Not a great book. The point of the story was a little unclear to me. It's supposed to be about a woman being both a 'child' and a parent at the same time - in the context of the possibility of death of both the woman and her father. I didn't warm to any of the characters, and found the father to be completely unbelievable - even if I met him face-to-face I'd feel that I was seeing someone who was pretending to be a person who couldn't exist. That is, he was always upbeat and cheerful in a completely over-the-top way. I don't experience life in a way that would make such a position tenable. The woman is somewhat more believable. I got the sense that there wasn't really much of a story here (woman gets breast cancer at a relatively young age, has aggressive treatment, survives. Father gets cancer and survives....both "so far") but it has been padded out into a book by an entrepreneur who thinks she can make money out of her experience. ( )
  oldblack | Dec 16, 2011 |
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At 36, Kelly had a good marriage, a couple of kids, and a weekly newspaper column. But she 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. Kelly's was a colorful childhood, just the sort a girl could get attached to. She lives deep within what she calls the Middle Place--"that sliver of time when parenthood and childhood overlap"--but she's abruptly shoved into a coming-of-age when she finds a lump in her breast. And so her 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 show us a woman as she finally takes the leap and grows up.--From publisher description.… (more)

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