A story like Kelly Corrigan’s Glitter and Glue: A Memoir is a journey to the heart of family. The unique connections between parents and children, mothers and daughters, and siblings with one another, are the basis for what makes family work.
And when those connections are broken through loss, we realize in the depths of our souls how necessary they are.
From the very first page, I was totally engaged with the author’s story, beginning with her travels as a young person, when she spent a few months in Australia as a nanny for a motherless family, to her settling into her own independent life on the West Coast afterwards while her family of origin continued to live across the country. We come to know her own mothering experiences and how they reflected what she had learned in her relationship with her mother, and even with her father, and how, when life hit her hard during a health crisis, the first person she wanted to call was her mother.
I loved how, in the beginning of this tale, the author quoted her mother when she described the differences between the playful, fun father she enjoyed and the mother who set the rules and the boundaries: “he’s the glitter and I’m the glue.”
Who hasn’t realized how the dynamics are different between fathers and daughters and mothers and daughters? While our own families may have been structured in other ways, we learned early on in our lives just what defined us as opposed to others. What makes us unique, and what forms the basis for our security later in life.
This delightful story felt like a nice long chat with a best friend. Someone who could sum up how one feels when faced with one’s own mortality, that the important things in life are “here, in this house, with these people.” I loved this book! Five stars.