Thursday, June 12, 2014

Glitter and Glue, Kelly Corrigan

Glitter and Glue: A Memoir


Kelly Corrigan

Category: Nonfiction: Memoir; Parenting & Families

Synopsis: Corrigan recalls the summer she spent as a nanny to a family in Australia where she learned to appreciate her mother.

Date finished: 14 May 2014

Rating: ***

I know I read Corrigan’s previous memoir, The Middle Place when it came out, though I don’t remember it at all. And unfortunately, I think this subsequent memoir will follow the same fate. Corrigan is not a bad writer, and she sometimes can be quite insightful, but there just wasn’t enough here to stick with me. It was a nice, quick read, but it’s kind of like eating a Hostess cupcake. Yummy, but you really should have had a turkey sandwich instead.

I can appreciate Corrigan’s fraught relationship with her mother. And it’s a safe topic; everyone has a mother, and most women have difficult moments (or years) with her. But I found the archetypes of the steady, practical mother and the seat-of-her-pants daughter rather boring. I enjoyed the innumerable mom phrases (though the italics got annoying after a while). And I could appreciate the maternal insight Corrigan has now that she couldn’t imagine having while she was a nanny. But, I don’t know, it just didn’t impress me. The whole book felt kind of sad. Corrigan doesn’t seem like a particularly happy person, her mother doesn’t seem like a particularly loving person, and the family Corrigan nannies for are such a fleeting part of her life, there is no conclusion to be reached.

I’ve heard a lot of buzz surrounding this book, and I allowed myself to get caught up in it. I used to read nothing but memoirs, and now that I find myself reading more widely, I miss memoirs. But I’m finding most of them just don’t hold a candle to some of the other great nonfiction on my shelves. Memoirs like this are becoming my equivalent of guilty beach reads.

Would you recommend this to a friend?
Eh. Nah.



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