Monday, August 17, 2009

Review: The Middle Place


At thirty-six, Kelly Corrigan had a marriage that worked, two funny, active kids, and a weekly newspaper column. Even then, she still saw herself as the daughter of a garrulous Irish-American charmer, George Corrigan. She was living 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 when she finds a lump in her breast - and gets the diagnosis no one wants to hear - and when her beloved father, too, learns he has late-stage cancer, Kelly finally takes the leap and grows up.
I would never have chosen The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan on my own. It was a book club book so I dutifully read it, but a cancer memoir is the sort of thing I try to stay far away from. I have enough sadness in my life, thank you very much. This was a very well written book, though. Corrigan knows how to blend the fanny and the sad enough to keep the reader going, rather than piling on the tragedy. I enjoyed seeing my own friends and family in hers, and could smile along at her descriptions of the ways in which big families are an entity unto themselves.

I can't quite say that I enjoyed The Middle Place, though. As I suspected I might, and despite her upbeat tone, I found this book to be incredibly sad. A different reader might enjoy this book quite a bit, but for me, this wasn't an enjoyable book to read.

Buy The Middle Place on Amazon.
Visit the author's website or her charity, Circus of Cancer.

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