The Middle Place Trailer
Kelly Corrigan’s family is long on characters, her father George chief among them. The center of an ebullient, raucous and largely untested tribe, George greets every day by opening his bedroom window and calling out, “Hello World!” Suffice to say, it was the kind of childhood a girl could get attached to. But, in the fall of 2004, crisis hit and Kelly discovered that although she had all the makings of an adult life—a marriage license, two birth certificates, a mortgage, and tax returns—she was still more daughter than mother.
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.
Corrigan is a natural-born storyteller: fighting with her mother over an indispensable pair of Guess jeans, accidentally murdering her brother’s new boa constrictor, fastidiously French braiding her hair on prom night. Mixing childhood stories with those of her adult life, Corrigan takes us through an anxious winter of panic attacks, the long and wicked morning that anesthesia failed to soothe the birth of ten-pounder, and the vexing, disconcerting need to understand why her husband calls his mother so often. She captures the beat of an ordinary life and the tender, sometimes fractious moments that bind families together. Kelly Corrigan is funny, rueful, and honest—the prized friend who will tell you her darkest, lowest, screwiest thoughts and then later that night, dance on the coffee table at your party.
For two days I ignored my family while I devoured Kelly Corrigan's memoir, The Middle Place. I spent a good part of that time crying, but mostly I was laughing. In the tradition of the best memoirists (Anne Lamott and Anna Quindlen come to mind) she captures our hearts and teaches us something new about family, love, and yes, even death.
I haven't become so immediately caught up in or so compelled by a book in ages…Kelly Corrigan's lightning-fast ability to establish that rare, mysterious bond between book and reader overwhelmed me. There are all sorts of things to be said about her bravery, and about what she can explain to many of us about illness, but this is a wonderful book about being alive.
The Middle Place is inspiring, luminous, and true. Reading this memoir, I felt like an honorary member of the Corrigan family . . . Kelly Corrigan is a wonderful writer.