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The Middle Place

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  26,600 Ratings  ·  2,898 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
Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Hachette Books (first published June 25th 2005)
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Teri Sweatman Kelly and her father both go into remission. If you google George Corrigan, All American Lacrosse player from U. of MD, you will see more about…moreKelly and her father both go into remission. If you google George Corrigan, All American Lacrosse player from U. of MD, you will see more about George. I hate to write too much since it can be spoiler info for some readers(less)
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Aug 09, 2010 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.
Jan 07, 2009 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
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.

Mar 23, 2009 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 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
Nov 09, 2007 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 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
Feb 14, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 06, 2008 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
Jan 24, 2009 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.
Aug 01, 2011 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 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
Feb 11, 2009 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
Mar 24, 2009 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 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
Mary Karlee
Apr 30, 2011 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
Apr 16, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 24, 2009 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
Feb 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women, mothers, daughters
Recommended to Leeann by: Laura Waldoch

This is an amazing book.

The author has a voice that makes you feel like you are a best friend or confidante from the first page. Many times as I was reading this book, I would be nodding my head or trying to swallow past the lump in my throat.

This is the kind of book you will find yourself reading in the carpool line and as you are browning the meat, because you simply cannot put it down.

Upon completion, I felt happy, weepy and slightly bereft, much like the way you feel as you say goodbye to
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It was so engaging. I put off reading it for a long time, even though I love memoirs. I didn't think I wanted to read a book about "cancer". This book is so much more. The family relationships were relatable. I can't wait to read more books by Kelly Corrigan.
Jan 28, 2015 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.
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book. Its a memoir from Kelly Corrigan and its all about that middle place where your parents are still alive and you're still a daughter, but you're also a wife and mother. She gets (and beats) breast cancer, is raising her 2 young daughters, is a wife to a good man, and stands by her dad as he has multiple bouts with cancer. Its a quick read and very interesting. Her writing style is very easy to read and I enjoyed it a lot!
I looked her up after I finished it and it sounds
Susan Bowman
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
The middle place is where you are both a parent and a child; a daughter and a mother. This is not a book as much as it is a story about a family, relationships, marriage and how they create a backdrop for life. It could be my family, your neighbor's or your own. There's so much I identify with and so much that I have never experienced. The way the story was told resonated with and touched me.
Beth Ann
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I probably liked this book more than I should have, but I am only three years older than Kelly and thought her recall of details from our shared coming-of-age-era of the 70s was spot-on, funny, insightful, and moving in equal measure. Of course, my trust in her recall of events was heightened by the fact that I had actually seen the Green Man in action. During my college years in the early 80s, I never forgot watching this joyful father, visiting his son G.T., buying rounds of drinks in a local ...more
Mar 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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
Jan 05, 2009 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
Feb 22, 2008 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
Kelly Corrigan’s title of her memoir is The Middle Place; which is where she feels she is in life when this journey began. She is in that time between being someone’s child and being someone’s parent. I am the age Kelly is when she discovers the lump in her breast that ends up being cancer.

From the description of the novel, I expected to read more on her journey of going through the cancer treatments. Yes we do get some of that, but then her father gets his third occurrence of cancer and the bo
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just as important as their physical health Neuro3x 1 4 Oct 16, 2014 02:21AM  
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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."
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“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.” 34 likes
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