The Middle Place

Kelly Corrigan, Author . Hyperion/Voice $23.95 (266p) ISBN 978-1-4013-0336-5

Newspaper columnist Corrigan was a happily married mother of two young daughters when she discovered a cancerous lump in her breast. She was still undergoing treatment when she learned that her beloved father, who’d already survived prostate cancer, now had bladder cancer. Corrigan’s story could have been unbearably depressing had she not made it clear from the start that she came from sturdy stock. Growing up, she loved hearing her father boom out his morning “HELLO WORLD” dialogue with the universe, so his kids would feel like the world wasn’t just a “safe place” but was “even rooting for you.” As Corrigan reports on her cancer treatment—the chemo, the surgery, the radiation—she weaves in the story of how it felt growing up in a big, suburban Philadelphia family with her larger-than-life father and her steady-loving mother and brothers. She tells how she met her husband, how she gave birth to her daughters. All these stories lead up to where she is now, in that “middle place,” being someone’s child, but also having children of her own. Those learning to accept their own adulthood might find strength—and humor—in Corrigan’s feisty memoir. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 10/22/2007
Release date: 01/01/2008
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