Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Middle Place” as Want to Read:
The Middle Place
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Middle Place

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  23,967 Ratings  ·  2,769 Reviews
For Kelly Corrigan, family is everything. At thirty-six, she had a marriage that worked, two funny, active kids, and a weekly newspaper column. But even as a thriving adult, Kelly still saw herself as the daughter of garrulous Irish-American charmer George Corrigan. She was living deep within what she calls the Middle Place--"that sliver of time when parenthood and childho ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published January 8th 2008 by Hyperion (first published June 25th 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Middle Place, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Middle Place

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Aug 09, 2010 Ellen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

So how does this censorship thing work exactly?

Excerpt from The Middle Place [with "f-bomb" censored:]:
Just after reading The Middle Place, I stupidly started reading some of the reviews. I got madder by the minute. Far too many reviewers seemed to miss the fact that Kelly Corrigan, the mother of two young girls, was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Instead, they fretted about the f-bombs. In particular, the paragraph (below) by this reviewer caught my imagination:
A few things bothered me.
Kelly Ballard
This book was recommended to me by a clerk in a bookstore. I think it is his go-to suggestion for that thirty-something Mommy he believes is looking for a little more…Unfortunately, although I fit the type - not it.

I liked the first third of the book fine and then her father also got sick – and that is where she lost me. I immediately stopped liking her. Absolutely I had compassion from her desperate place, but I (like her family too) was unbelievably annoyed and frustrated by her behavior.

Jan 07, 2009 Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the memoir a Piedmont mother of two, learning to navigate life in the middle place - that place where you're trying to learn how to be an independent person/parent of your own, but still find yourself running home to your parents when problems arise. Corrigan has a gregarious larger than life father, who has consistently convinced her that she is the most awe-inspiring wonderful person around. As a result, she seems to believe a little too much that the world revolves around her and that ...more
Mar 27, 2009 Jacqui rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Just started. I've laughed and cried already and am only a couple of chapters into it. I can't imagine getting cancer, but breast cancer is in my line now that my grandmother is suffering from it.


I just finished, and I'd love to give this book more stars, but I feel it would be overly generous. I really liked Kelly at the beginning of the book, and I really WANTED to like her by the end, but just couldn't relate.

A few things bothered me. I didn't like reading with a pen in my hand to
Jul 11, 2008 Rosie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just finished The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan, and I am aching. Aching at the beauty of it, at her good humor, honesty, and vulnerability, at the awful fates that give a young mother of two stage 3 breast cancer, at the even worse fates that give that young mother's beloved father his own grave cancer diagnosis just months after her own. I ache because the book is really beautiful; it's a book that I wish that I had written- and that ache turns into a shudder because I was living half of th ...more
Dec 04, 2007 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
I am read this book as part of an experiment...the publisher gave out advanced copies to people who were willing to participate in an online book group. The book sounded great so I agreed.

Fantastic book. Beautiful and witty. Corrigan articulated everything I never knew I felt about my parents and being a daughter. Her family is charming and she told just the right details to make me smile.
Oct 09, 2008 Sandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
It made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me remember what going through breast cancer was all about. It's kind of ironic, but we must have been going through breast cancer about the same time during the years of 2004-05. It made me remember how I loved my husband and my girls, my family and my friends for helping me through that difficult time. It made me think of my Dad and how much I love him and appreciate his sense of humor. It made me remember times of growing up and silly things I'd forgo ...more
Mar 06, 2009 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
When I had seen the YouTube video with Kelly Corrigan reading about the value of friendship, I was very touched, and I thought that this book would be absolutely fantastic. It wasn't. I did this as a BOCD rather than actually reading the book, and I am sure that had some impact on my review. The reader was too effusive, and hearing someone's dad refer to the daughter as Lovey was disconcerting. All I could think of was Gilligan's Island and Thurston Howell III. If everyone who has cancer gets to ...more
Feb 24, 2008 Michele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Top Place for Outstanding Memoirs
This memoir is filled with love, humility, honesty, compassion and a great sense of humor. Well-written and highly readable, the structure pulls you from cover to cover so quickly, it's readable in one sitting. My one sitting happened to be on a long plane ride, however, the time I spent getting to know Kelly Corrigan and her father, "Greenie," along with the rest of Kelly's family, made the plane not only bearable, but also enjoyable. She moved me from tears
Dec 27, 2015 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
I actually haven't finished this yet, so I probably shouldn't be reviewing it right now, but whatever, I'm bored. I started out really liking this book a lot--Kelly was likable, easy to relate to, honest (even about the uncomfortable things you don't want to admit to thinking or feeling), and a witty, fun writer. Her flashbacks to her childhood had me feeling like I really knew and cared about her family. But, like many other reviews I've read here, I started feeling annoyed with her about halfw ...more
Jan 03, 2009 Bridget rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really related to Kelly on many fronts. I didn't however like her continuous use of the Lord's name in vain NOR the f-bomb. I actually censored my copy of this book to clean it up a bit. Kelly is an amazing author and I really liked the style of how she goes back and forth from the past and present. It's also so current. The story ends just a couple of years ago so when she mentions President Bush or the Brad/Angie/Jen triangle it feels like I'm right there with her. I know what she's talking ...more
Jan 24, 2009 Michele rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While this book is'll end up disliking the author. You'll find yourself wanting to jump into the book and give her one of those Scarlett O'Hara slaps.
Feb 21, 2009 Lynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book so much. Definitely a cry-book - be warned - but I think what I got from this the most, beyond all of the cancer stuff, had to do with parenting. In the prologue she writes (about her father) "He defined me first, as parents do. Those early characterizations can become the shimmering self-image we embrace or the limited, stifling perception we rail against for a lifetime. In my case, he sees me as I would like to be seen. In fact, I'm not even sure what's true about me, since I ...more
Mary Karlee
May 10, 2011 Mary Karlee rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book for the first few chapters. I liked the author's voice and writing style, and I loved the stories about her dad. Partly because "Greenie" is just a great character and partly because his daughter's love and admiration for her dad shine through so brightly in her narratives. However, I did not finish this book. I was listening to it on CD and I was done with hearing the f-word. (I think I was about 1/6th through and I'd heard it at least 5 times.) Secondly, her philosop ...more
This book didn't grab me. It seemed to be all over the place. Constantly jumping around. It wasn't just about her and her cancer or her and her father's cancer. She told lots of childhood stories that didn't seem to have any bearing. And the language was harsh. Which is kind of funny because I just recently readThe Pursuit of Happyness and it was loaded with bad language, but for some reason it fit there. In this book it just didn't work for me. It was angry language.

I tried to like Kelly, but a
Mar 30, 2009 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think I need a sabaticcal from ordinary joe/joanne memoirs. It all starts out OK, I'm enjoying myself, and then the person just starts to annoy me! As a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age myself (41), I realy thought I would relate to her staory, and early on, I did. Her process and recovery would be of interest to me, but not so much the story of her life and her almost squeamishly strong attachment to her father. Sorry, but I'm just not interested in her jobs or how sh ...more
Sep 05, 2014 Boots rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have struggled with the idea of whether to review this book or not because this book is a memoir about someone's actual life. But I have been mulling this book over for a few weeks since I read it, and frankly, I am mystified as to how it has garnered so many 5 star reviews.

I absolutely loved the first half of the book. I truly did. It was a real, moving, lovely tribute to her dad, known as "Greenie". The anecdotes about him and her early growing up years were so funny. Her description of her
Aug 29, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Middle Place is a book that will resonate with countless women in their 30s, women trying to figure out how to stand on their own two feet when it’s so comfortable to (still!) be coddled by doting parents. The book’s jacket description states this, but makes it sound like a reasonable and sympathetic dilemma. Reading the book myself, I got a more negative spin on this quandary.

I absolutely loved this book for its honesty. Kelly does not paint herself as a heroine who reaches through difficul
Apr 16, 2009 Dorothy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
Kelly Corrigan is a spoiled brat. She thinks the world revolves around her, and wants us all to agree about this and nod in approval of everything she does. This book is fairly well-written and kept me going (hence the second star), but my respect for the author declined with each page until by the end, I really couldn't tolerate her thought process and actions and found myself slamming the book against the sofa, going, "ARRRGHH!" I'd rather read a book of stories about Greenie (Corrigan has a m ...more
Jan 29, 2015 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love her voice. I love the way she compares things. And I love the way she loves her family. Many have criticized this book for being self-absorbed... but it's a memoir. A memoir about cancer and family. I'd say: self-absorption warranted.
Mar 11, 2014 Carin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, women-authors
A few years ago it seemed like every book club but mine was reading this book so it hit my radar, but not enough to search it out. Still, I heard good things and when I ran across it, I had to pick it up. And when I was looking for a memoir to read that would be lighter in tone, the quote on the front calling it "funny and irresistibly exuberant" sucked me in.

It's interesting to call a book about cancer funny, and now that I've read it, I wouldn't go that far. She does have a light tone and a fe
I went back and forth between 2 and 3 stars when it dawned on me that I can "like" a book without completely "loving" the main character.

I understand the author...I've had my own medical issue at a young age (so I understand the whole "why is my body failing me?" thing) and a favorite loved one in my immediate family has been touched by advanced cancer. I understand this difficult place she was in. I also understand this "middle place" she describes. Like the author, I am attached to my family o
Yesterday, I finished listening to The Middle Place and wept.

At 36, Kelly Corrigan's life seems perfect. She and her husband are doing well living and working in the Bay Area and she is embracing motherhood with 2 young girls. Even though she is an adult, she still sees herself as George Corrigan's only daughter. Her father, who is described as larger-than-life, still remains a major part of her life. She is in the 'Middle Place' between when our parents are everything and we are the parents. An
Feb 03, 2010 SallyHP rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm-bookclub
Corrigan has written a beautiful book about our position in life when we become parents to our children, yet are still children to our parents.

In the midst of her breast cancer diagnosis, her father is diagnosed with late stage bladder cancer. This is such a moving book, but it's so much more than another tear-jerker 'Chicken Soup for the Cancerous Soul'.

Her descriptions of the sometimes rote and mundane tasks of motherhood are right smack in the middle of what is quite possibly the best love l
Marcia Call
I wrote this letter to my friends after reading The Middle Place. I found it to be very inspiring. Here is a link to Kelly's reading from the book,

I believe in the power of women -- all kinds. Randy Newman's short women,
John Updike's sexy women, political women like Hilary Clinton and Michele
Obama, family women, friendly women. I love them all.

Personally, I love my friends. Yes, the ones with the double names -- Nancy
Bauer Collier, Linda Bauer Darr, and
Feb 28, 2010 Christie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love memoirs. It's always an inspiration to see the strength of the human spirit. I love relationships. Memoirs are about relationships. Someone from Writers at Work (for the life of my can't remember who) recommended this to me. Then I saw an awesome Youtube clip of Kelly reading an essay (included at the end of this book) on friendship. I forwarded it to all of my girlfriends and have been excited to read this ever since.

It's always nice to read about healthy and happy relationships between
Mar 10, 2008 nimrodiel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to nimrodiel by: Front Street Reviews
Reviewed for

"The Middle Place is about calling home. Instinctively. Even when all the paperwork—a marriage license, a notarized deed, two birth certificates, and seven years of tax returns—clearly indicates you're an adult, but all the same, there you are, clutching the phone and thanking God that you're still somebody's daughter." – Kelly Corrigan

Thirty-six year old Kelly Corrigan was living a very content life. She had a job she enjoyed, a wonderful husband, t
Tanya W
Maybe 3 1/2 stars...

What I liked:
Kelly's humor... descriptions of parenting and marriage sometimes made me laugh out loud. I especially liked her funny description of moms with four children (since I have four... p. 215).

I felt Kelly matured through her experiences and came to recognize some of her shortcomings.

I liked getting to know George and his positive personality.

I felt it was useful to learn more about breast cancer in preparation for my book club (1 in 7.87 of us women will get it). And
Feb 24, 2009 Lucy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kelly Corrigan describes The Middle Place as "...being a parent and a child at the same time. It is about the special double-vision you get when you are standing with one foot in each place. It is about the family you make and the family you came from and locating, navigating, and finally celebrating the place where they meet."

The first line of the prologue sets the tone by announcing, "The most important thing you need to know about me is that I'm George Corrigan's daughter." By the end of the
May 26, 2009 Roberta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks, Judy, for recommending this book. It's about cancer, yet somehow it's not depressing. Kelly Corrigan's descriptions go right to the heart of the matter with a few well-chosen words:
On her relationship with her father: "He sees me as I would like to be seen".
On being a daughter: "Even when all the paperwork . . . clearly indicates you're an adult, but all the same, there you are, clutching the phone and thanking God you're still somebody's daughter."
On happiness: "Allison and I catch eyes
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
just as important as their physical health Neuro3x 1 4 Oct 16, 2014 02:21AM  
  • The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir
  • Comfort: A Journey Through Grief
  • Here If You Need Me: A True Story
  • Promise Me: How a Sister's Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer
  • Making Toast
  • What I Thought I Knew: A Memoir
  • She Got Up Off the Couch: And Other Heroic Acts from Mooreland, Indiana
  • The Longest Trip Home: A Memoir
  • The Possibility of Everything
  • A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny
  • In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing
  • Tales from the Bed
  • Lopsided: How Having Breast Cancer Can Be Really Distracting
  • Shelter Me
  • Waiting for Birdy: A Year of Frantic Tedium, Neurotic Angst, and the Wild Magic of Growing a Family
  • Hands of My Father: A Hearing Boy, His Deaf Parents, and the Language of Love
  • It Takes a Worried Man
  • Name All the Animals: A Memoir
Kelly Corrigan is a New York Times bestselling author whose writing has appeared in O Magazine, Glamour and Good Housekeeping. Her newspaper columns for the Bay Area News Group cover everyday matters from the power of an unequivocal apology to the contagious nature of weight gain, extramarital affairs and going green."
More about Kelly Corrigan...

Share This Book

“Appreciation is the purest,strongest form of love. It is the outward-bound kind of love that asks for nothing and gives everything.” 58 likes
“Even when all the paperwork-a marriage license, a notarized deed, two birth certificates, and seven years of tax returns-clearly indicates you're an adult, but all the same, there you are, clutching the phone and thanking God that you're still somebody's daughter.” 31 likes
More quotes…