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Glitter and Glue

Glitter and Glue;
Glitter and Glue;
Credit: Suzanne Chun

Kelly Corrigan’s memoir, Glitter and Glue (Random House), begins when she has her ovaries removed because of a suspicious cyst. Corrigan is a mother with two young children, but at a time like this, she wants her own mother. Things weren’t always that way. When Corrigan was growing up, she didn’t feel close to her mother at all.

Flashback to 1992. Corrigan is in her early twenties and looking for adventure, so she travels to Australia. In two months, she’s out of money. She can either get a job or go home. Corrigan looks for work as a waitress or a bartender, but reluctantly takes a job as a nanny. She's hired by John Tanner, a widower with two young children whose wife recently died of cancer.

As Corrigan takes care of the children, she hears her own mother’s voice in her head, guiding her and giving her advice. For the first time in her life, Corrigan starts to understand her mother. She feels connected to her and misses her. This stirs up memories of Corrigan’s childhood. More flashbacks.

Corrigan’s vivid descriptions bring to life the Tanner children and her own childhood experiences. She illustrates the joys and challenges of family life with memories that are sometimes funny and sometimes heartbreaking.

Glitter and Glue is about a mother-daughter relationship, a mother-father relationship, and about what really matters in life. Corrigan learns that true heroes are people who do things to make the lives of others better every day, the people who hold a family together, like glue.