When I reviewed Kelly Corrigan's The Middle Place, her memoir of the year she discovered she had breast cancer, I said it moved me to laughter and tears. I also commented, "The Middle Place is the story of a spoiled daughter, who craved her father's attention. At the same time, it's about a woman growing into her adult life, accepting her role as a wife and mother, trying to leave the same kind of memories for her daughters that her father gave her." Now, with her latest book, Lift, she's leaving those memories.
Corrigan's book is a letter to her daughters, Georgia and Claire. Knowing we seldom know what our parents were like, she revealed a little of her life, but she focused on them. She told them she always wanted children, and they were her dream. Kelly's idol, her cousin, Kathy, told her, "We're never ready for the things that happen. When the big stuff happens, we're always looking in the other direction." When that big stuff happened, Claire's meningitis, Kelly and her husband realized they would never stop trying to protect their daughters. They knew children meant love and pain and terror, but that love was worth it. They shared the feeling of so many people who realize how deeply they love another. "Risk was not an event we'd survived, but the place where we now lived."
Kelly Corrigan's Lift is a message of love, and strength in the face of tragedy. She not only left memories for her daughters, but her book will bring memories of love and childhood to many parents and children. Corrigan truly has grown up since the writing of The Middle Place.
Kelly Corrigan's website is www.KellyCorrigan.com
Lift by Kelly Corrigan. Hyperion, ©2010. ISBN 9781401341244 (hardcover), 96p.
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