NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A memoir from the author of The Middle Place about mothers and daughters—a bond that can be nourishing, exasperating, and occasionally divine.
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.
Praise for Glitter and Glue
“I loved this book, I was moved by this book, and now I will share this book with my own mother—along with my renewed appreciation for certain debts of love that can never be repaid.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love
“Kelly Corrigan’s thoughtful and beautifully rendered meditation invites readers to reflect on their own launchings and homecomings. I accepted the invitation and learned things about myself. You will, too. Isn’t that why we read?”—Wally Lamb, New York Times bestselling author of We Are Water
“Kelly Corrigan is no stranger to mining the depths of her heart. . . . Through her own experience of caring for children, she begins, for the first time, to appreciate the complex woman who raised her.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
Corrigan (The Middle Place) looks back on a transformative period in her life in the early 1990s. As a college grad determined to see the world and find adventure far from the safety net of her Philadelphia-based family (fans of her previous memoir have already met her outgoing dad, "Greenie," and her more stoic mom Mary, the "glitter and glue"), she travels to Australia where she soon runs out of money and takes a temporary position as a nanny to two young children whose mother has passed away. Though disappointed to find herself in a mundane job in the suburbs, Corrigan is quickly drawn into the struggle of a family trying to carry on in the absence of its most "irreplaceable" member. As widower John Tanner, his young children, and his stepson Evan wind their way into young Kelly's heart, she finds herself thinking more and more of her own mother's voice, of her solid commitment to her children, husband, and faith, and of the lessons one can learn from ordinary life, "which are big, hard beautiful things." Initially believing that "things happen when you leave the house," the young Corrigan soon finds that life's greatest dramas and deepest messages often unfold within the quiet underpinnings of relationships. The author's fans and newcomers alike will welcome this story that probes the depths of mother-daughter bonds
Customer ReviewsSee All
Glitter and Glue
I downloaded this book after seeing an interview with the author on a chat show. As a middle aged woman with two grown sons and a mother that has now passed on, I thought I could find something here. I was not disappointed. Kelly wrote mostly from the perspective of a young person but I related to her mothers parenting style a lot. It helped me grieve my mother and decode to myself how I raised my own sons. I laughed and cried. For me it was enjoyable.
Glitter and Glue
I just finished reading Glitter and Glue and loved it! Kelly Corrigan has the ability to draw the reader in with a memoir of her youth that shapes and defines her as a future mother, daughter, wife and friend. It was an amazing tribute to her own mother while being relatable to daughters everywhere. A must read and share with others book!