Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Book Review: Glitter and Glue: A Memoir by Kelly Corrigan

net galley disclosure

Well, since we were talking about glue in our earlier product review, I thought it might be 'thematic' to have this review today! You know we love theme days here at BTHM!

glitter and glue cover


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


This is a book that you start and you think, well this may take a few sittings to finish. And then suddenly it's 2 hours later and you are finished with it. It is a story that all mothers know- how you swear in your teens/early 20s, you'll 'never turn into your mother', yet when it is time to babysit or mother your own children, you will find everything she thought you/said to you/showed you, coming back and coming out of you. The author does a great job in relating how shocked and surprised she was at this in her own life as a nanny. It is a book you can relate to, laugh with, maybe even cry with a bit. Though I do have to say the end may be a bit of a let down, as the book is only meant to cover part of the author's life, and you suddenly feel like you're taken back out of it at the end. 

This book reminds us of JUST how much influence, we as mother's will have on our children when they are ADULTS, even if we are not with them. That can be a very scary thought indeed. This is a wonderful book to give to new mothers, to your mother, or to a friend who is struggling to find her place without her mother. I highly recommend it!

About the Author:

Kelly Corrigan is, more than anything else, the mother of two young girls. While they're at school, Kelly writes a newspaper column, the occasional magazine article, and possible chapters of a novel. She is also the creator of, a website to teach people how to help a friend through breast cancer. Kelly lives outside San Francisco with her husband, Edward Lichty. This is her third book, all of which have been family memoirs.

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