The Middle Place

The Middle Place

Book - 2007
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"The Middle Place is about calling home. Instinctively. Even when all the paperwork -- a marriage license, a notarized deed, two birth certificates, and seven years of tax returns -- clearly indicates you're an adult, but all the same, there you are, clutching the phone and thanking God that you're still somebody's daughter."

For Kelly Corrigan, family is everything.

At thirty-six, she had a marriage that worked, a couple of funny, active kids, and a weekly newspaper column. But even as a thriving adult, Kelly 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. He greeted every day by opening his bedroom window and shouting, "Hello, World!" Suffice it to say, Kelly's was a colorful childhood, just the sort a girl could get attached to.

Kelly lives deep within what she calls the Middle Place -- "that sliver of time when parenthood and childhood overlap" -- comfortably wedged between her adult duties and her parents' care. But she's abruptly shoved into a coming-of-age when she finds a lump in her breast -- and gets the diagnosis no one wants to hear. And so Kelly's 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.

Kelly Corrigan is a natural-born storyteller, a gift you quickly recognize as her father's legacy, and her stories are rich with everyday details. She captures the beat of an ordinary life and the tender, sometimes fractious moments that bind families together. Rueful and honest, Kelly is the prized friend who will tell you her darkest, lowest, screwiest thoughts, and then later, dance on the coffee table at your party.

Funny, yet heart-wrenching, The Middle Place is about being a parent and a child at the same time. It is about the special double-vision you get when you are standing with one foot in each place. It is about the family you make and the family you came from -- and locating, navigating, and finally celebrating the place where they meet. It is about reaching for life with both hands -- and finding it.

Publisher: New York : Voice/Hyperion, 2007.
ISBN: 9781401303365
Characteristics: 266 p. ;,22 cm.


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HCL_staff_reviews Dec 01, 2016

If you love memoirs, you are in for a treat with this one. Although young wife and mother Kelly Corrigan develops breast cancer in her thirties, her memoir is about so much more than her struggle. Kelly alternates chapters between her childhood and young adulthood with the reality of her illness and life now. She has a special relationship with her outgoing and unfailingly optimistic father, Greenie. I hope Corrigan continues to write because she has a true gift. Both funny and tender, "The Middle Place" is an outstanding memoir. — Kim B., Ridgedale Library

Apr 19, 2015

All three of this woman's books are exceptionally well-written, hilarious, thoughtful and touching. All three are ruminations/memoirs about her birth family and the family she's given birth to. You'll laugh out loud, I promise! She's wonderful and I hope she writes more.

JCLCaitlinT Apr 11, 2013

I found this book to be both moving and well written. The fact that Kelly--a young woman fighting breast cancer--does not try to portray herself as flawless helps the reader to relate to her. Anyone who has struggled with the dichotomy of being a parent while also still wanting the loving protection from ones own parents will understand Kelly's emotions in this moving memoir.

skd3 Aug 05, 2011

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Oct 28, 2010

I really enjoyed this book - Kelly Corrigan writes as if talking to a friend. It was a pleasure to read and now I miss knowing what's going on in her life today :)

May 23, 2010

Loved this book. Kelly is an easy writer to read. I loved reading this on a plane too and from a conference - kept my attention, made me smile and think.

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