Monday, February 11, 2008

The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan

Memoirs, honestly, have to be the hardest books to write. The author can't just make up a story, put it together in a convincing sequence, and conclude. An author of a memoir is writing about his or her life and must write about that ultimate personal topic, in a manner that will attract readers. Many memoirs are written in the aftermath of tragedy or at the least, life changing events, and that makes these books, so difficult to write. In The Middle Place, Kelly Corrigan attacks the topics of motherhood, Alzheimer's, and cancer in a heart wrenching, yet very relatable manner.

After finding a lump in her breast while bathing her two young daughters, Corrigan soon finds herself in a precarious "middle place" in her life. She is the mother to these wonderful girls, yet is at times playing mother to her father, as well, who is also suffering from cancer. As life begins to seemingly spin out of control, Corrigan faces the possibility of losing both her father, and ultimately herself, in a poignant way. Though internally she felt weak and broken, she remained strong and often humorous, for the sake of her family.

This is the perfect book from any woman who has suffered from breast cancer, as well as any family member that has dealt with someone close to them having to battle cancer. That pretty much covers everyone! At some point in our lives we will most likely be faced with cancer somewhere, somehow. Reading this memoir will not be preparation for that, but it will be enlightening in so many aspects.

Another point I would like to make is that this is not a memoir simply about dealing with cancer. It is filled with experiences in taking care of one's parents, as well as one's children. It is about the difficulties of every day life as a mom, whether being a mom with cancer or not. It is as uplifting, yet terrible sad recording of Corrigan's experiences. You will enjoy this book. It's inevitable.

1 comment:

Literary Feline said...

Thank you for your great review! I definitely will have to look for this one. One of my grandfather's suffered from Alzheimers and my grandmother (not the one married to this particular grandfather) suffered from dementia in the final years of her life. Cancer is also a big part of my family history. I have many reasons to be drawn to the memoir and I am looking forward to reading it.