Kelly Corrigan's The Middle Place is a tribute of sorts to her father, affectionately known as Greenie. Her mother is a quiet presence. Now in Glitter and Glue, Corrigan focuses on mothers.
Corrigan writes in her prologue that her mother, Mary, never believed that she needed to be her child's friend, that motherhood was a job with serious repercussions. Corrigan's father represented the fun stuff - the glitter, while her mother held things together, like glue.
I was looking for a memoir detailing Corrigan's childhood and her relationship with her mother. But instead, Corrigan focuses on the time she spent in Australia as a nanny for a boy and girl whose mother had just passed away. While she is there Corrigan begins to realize the many ways a mother is essential, and how fortunate she was to have grown up with the mother she was given.
Later, after Corrigan relocates to the West coast, marries herself and has children, she feels the intense love she knows her mother feels for her, and also the intense pressures of motherhood. Facing battles with breast and ovarian cancer she understands how badly she wants to live - for her children, but also for herself, as she will be the one missing so much if she doesn't.
Corrigan's memoir is easy to read and moves along quickly, and although I wanted it to be about her childhood, her decision to focus on her year of nannying and the way she was able to connect this with her own mother and experiences as a mother, is perfect.
Mary Corrigan is not a cuddly sort of mother as her daughter points out. I am sure she understands exactly how much her daughter loves and respects her, and how essential she has been to her daughter's life.