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.
"The author's fans and newcomers alike will welcome this story that probes the depths of mother-daughter bond." - Publishers Weekly
"Written in a breezy style with humor and heart, the book reminds us how rewarding it can be to see a parent outside the context of our own needs. It's that illumination that allows Corrigan to turn what starts as a complaint about her mother into a big thank you." - Kirkus
"I teared up so many times while reading Glitter and Glue, thinking, See? You never stop needing your mother. Yet with openhearted wisdom, Kelly Corrigan beautifully illustrates the idea that life goes on no matter what - and that even the impossible is always possible." - Vanessa Diffenbaugh, New York Times bestselling author of The Language of Flowers
"Some books you quite like, some you even love, but especially rare are the books that remind you what reading is for. Glitter and Glue is my favorite reminder. Nobody tells a more natural story - with more easy charm; with such personal warmth and style - than Kelly Corrigan." - Darin Strauss, award-winning author of Half a Life
"Kelly Corrigan parses the bittersweet complexities of motherhood with humor and grace. Her writing has depth and buoyancy and light. It's a river on a summer day. You slip into the current, laughing, and are carried away by it." - Mary Roach, New York Times bestselling author of Stiff and
"This book will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and I know that you will gobble it up in a single day, just like I did." - Ayelet Waldman, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Mother
"In this endearing, funny, and thought-provoking memoir, Kelly Corrigan's memories of long-ago adventures illuminate the changing relationships between mothers and children - as well as everything else that really matters." - Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project
"Kelly Corrigan's heartfelt homage to motherhood is every bit as tough and funny as it is nostalgic and searching. It's a tale about growing up, gaining wisdom, and reconciling with Mom (something we all must do eventually) but it's also an honest meditation on our deepest fears of death and abandonment." - Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love
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Rated of 5
Ann O. (Kansas City, MO)
A Heartfelt Memoir
I loved Glitter and Glue. Reading it made me feel as if I were talking to my best friend who was telling me her story about the five months when she launched herself far from home into a country – and family -- she didn't know. It is an honest and heartfelt memoir about her experience caring for children who had lost their mother, children who pretended not to need her, but did ultimately need her. It is funny, endearing and loving.
Rated of 5
A Hearfelt Memoir
I loved Glitter and Glue. Reading it made me feel as if I were talking to my best friend who was telling me her story about the five months when she launched herself far from home into a country – and family -- she didn’t know. It is an honest and heartfelt memoir about her experience caring for children who had lost their mother, children who pretended not to need her, but did ultimately need her. It is funny, endearing and loving.
Rated of 5
Gunta K. (Glens Falls, NY)
Stating the obvious
I did not fall in love with Kelly Corrigan's memoir. Her intense and clearly meant to be amusing criticisms of her mother and her parenting skills are unfair and show Kelly's immaturity. leaving the country to backpack overseas to experience "life" is irresponsible as her parents have invested in Kelly's college education and want the best for her. So the "best" turns out to be a job as a nanny in Australia. The one thing this job does do is created the realization in Kelly that she misses her family and needs her mother. This kind of blow by blow description of one's growing up may be quite satisfactory to the individual's immediate family but does nothing for anyone else. Once Kelly became quite ill she understood that the only person on this planet who could help her walk through this disaster was her mom.
Rated of 5
Susan H. (Chappaqua, NY)
mothers are grand!
I really enjoyed this book. I had a very special relationship with my mom … reached for the phone to call her a number of times reading the book …. she passed away a number of years ago and I still think of her daily. I have a wonderful relationship with my young adult daughter and gave her the book to read. She often says mothers are the glue!!!!
Rated of 5
Amber B. (East Sparta, OH)
More than meets the eye
I really enjoyed Glitter and Glue - the first person I texted after reading it was my own mother - with the words, "I have a book for you!"
The memoir leaves one with much to think about - in terms of parenting, romantic relationships, what it means to be a son or daughter, and especially about your own mortality... what you leave behind.
I found myself turning down lots of pages to come back to certain phrases and sections to jot down and revisit.
Rated of 5
Diane D. (Blairstown, NJ)
I can't place my finger on just why I liked this book so much, but I sure did. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that my parents moved to Australia, when they got married, and I wanted to know more about the people there. Of course, as it turned out, people are the same everywhere.
Kelly seemed to learn a lot about herself by being a nanny for the two young children, who had lost their mother; and it was interesting to see how she understood her mother more, as the time went on. It would be interesting to hear how my reading group would respond to this book, since it makes me wonder if everyone misunderstands their mothers till they are older and have more experience in life.
I would have liked to have read more, but maybe that's another story for another book.
Kelly Corrigan is the author of The Middle Place and Lift, both New York Times bestsellers. She is also a contributor to O: The Oprah Magazine, Good Housekeeping, and Medium. Kelly co-founded Notes & Words, an annual benefit concert for Children's Hospital Oakland featuring writers and musicians onstage together. Her YouTube channel, which includes video essays like "Transcending" and interviews with writers like Michael Lewis and Anna Quindlen, has been viewed by millions. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband, Edward Lichty, their two daughters, and a poorly behaved chocolate lab, Hershey. Visit her at http://www.kellycorrigan.com
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