Glitter and Glue: A Memoir

Front Cover
Ballantine Books, 2014 - Biography & Autobiography - 224 pages
36 Reviews
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From the 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 savings shot, she had a choice: get a job or go home. 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, 10,000 miles from the house where she was raised, 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.

Praise for Glitter and Glue

"I loved this book, I was moved by this book, and now I will share this book with my own mother--along with my renewed appreciation for certain debts of love that can never be repaid."--Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love

"Kelly Corrigan's thoughtful and beautifully rendered meditation invites readers to reflect on their own launchings and homecomings. I accepted the invitation and learned things about myself. You will, too. Isn't that why we read?"--Wally Lamb, New York Times bestselling author of We Are Water

"Kelly Corrigan is no stranger to mining the depths of her heart. . . . [In] Glitter and Glue,Corrigan turns the microscope on her relationship with her own mother. . . . Through her own experience of caring for children, she begins, for the first time, to appreciate the complex woman who raised her."--O: The Oprah Magazine

"Corrigan [is] a lively, nimble cheerleader for the joys of family."--People

"[A] funny, sparkling memoir."--More

"Corrigan writes with warmth and delicate humor."--The Washington Post

"[An] irresistible cocktail of lyrical writing and solid, useful insight."--San Francisco Chronicle

"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

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - christinejoseph - LibraryThing

real life (hers) true story of wife + mother gets cancer reflects on her own mom + dad Dad — the glitter Mum — the glue Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - angiestahl - LibraryThing

More like a 3.75. Easy, breezy, quick and relatable prodigal daughter memoir about the sometimes complicated relationships between moms and daughters and how we grow to identify more with a parent ... Read full review

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About the author (2014)

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.

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