5 reviews

Glitter and Glue: A Memoir
by Kelly Corrigan

Published: 2014-02-04
Hardcover : 240 pages
2 members reading this now
29 clubs reading this now
5 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 5 of 5 members

From the author of The Middle Place comes a new memoir that examines the bond—sometimes nourishing, sometimes exasperating, occasionally divine—between mothers and daughters.

When Kelly Corrigan was in high school, her mother neatly summarized the family ...
No other editions available.
Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
Jump to



From the author of The Middle Place comes a new memoir that examines the bond—sometimes nourishing, sometimes exasperating, occasionally divine—between mothers and daughters.

When Kelly Corrigan was in high school, her mother neatly summarized the family dynamic as “Your father’s the glitter but I’m the glue.” This meant nothing to Kelly, who left childhood sure that her mom—with her inviolable commandments and proud stoicism—would be nothing more than background chatter for the rest of Kelly’s life, which she was carefully orienting toward adventure. After college, armed with a backpack, her personal mission statement, and a wad of traveler’s checks, she took off for Australia to see things and do things and Become Interesting.
But it didn’t turn out the way she pictured it. In a matter of months, her savings shot, she had a choice: get a job or go home. That’s how Kelly met John Tanner, a newly widowed father of two looking for a live-in nanny. They chatted for an hour, discussed timing and pay, and a week later, Kelly moved in. And there, in that house in a suburb north of Sydney, 10,000 miles from the house where she was raised, her mother’s voice was suddenly everywhere, nudging and advising, cautioning and directing, escorting her through a terrain as foreign as any she had ever trekked. Every day she spent with the Tanner kids was a day spent reconsidering her relationship with her mother, turning it over in her hands like a shell, straining to hear whatever messages might be trapped in its spiral.
This is a book about the difference between travel and life experience, stepping out and stepping up, fathers and mothers. But mostly it’s about who you admire and why, and how that changes over time.

Praise for Glitter and Glue
“I loved this book, I was moved by this book, and now I will share this book with my own mother—along with my renewed appreciation for certain debts of love that can never be repaid.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love
“Kelly Corrigan’s thoughtful and beautifully rendered meditation invites readers to reflect on their own launchings and homecomings. I accepted the invitation and learned things about myself. You will, too. Isn’t that why we read?”—Wally Lamb, New York Times bestselling author of We Are Water

“Kelly Corrigan is no stranger to mining the depths of her heart. . . . [In] Glitter and Glue,Corrigan turns the microscope on her relationship with her own mother. . . . Through her own experience of caring for children, she begins, for the first time, to appreciate the complex woman who raised her.”O: The Oprah Magazine
“Corrigan [is] a lively, nimble cheerleader for the joys of family.”People

“[A] funny, sparkling memoir.”More

“Corrigan writes with warmth and delicate humor.”The Washington Post

“[An] irresistible cocktail of lyrical writing and solid, useful insight.”San Francisco Chronicle

“In this endearing, funny, and thought-provoking memoir, Kelly Corrigan’s memories of long-ago adventures illuminate the changing relationships between mothers and children—as well as everything else that really matters.”—Gretchen Rubin, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Project

Editorial Review

Kelly Corrigan on her new memoir Glitter and Glue

Glitter and Glue

Iâ??m Irish. That must be where the luck comes from, the luck required to find a publisher after filling diaries and journals for thirty years, first in a gingham wonderland from Sears, then in a dorm room in Virginia, finally in a fixer-upper near Oakland, California.

My first book, The Middle Place, was about my father, Greenie, who was very sick at the same time that I was very sick. Next, in 2010, I tried to capture what it has been to my daughtersâ?? mother in Lift. Finally, with Glitter and Glue, my mother gets her due. Now, Mary Corrigan is a complicated topic, as most mothers are. Think stoic, gritty, unbending; one part saint, two parts sergeant. Or, as she put it, â??Your fatherâ??s the glitter, but Iâ??m the glue. It takes both, Kelly.â??

I hope that somehow, given the toppling pile of books on your nightstand, you can find an evening to spare for this story of how I came to wonder who my mom was before I arrived, what motherhood had done to her and who she had become since I left home. Parenthood is so distorting; we all deserve a second, longer look.


No Excerpt Currently Available

Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Is there a person that was a romantic interest for you when you were younger that you'd want to connect with? Did Kelly's reconnecting with Evan inspire a similar re-connection for you?
by [email protected] (see profile) 04/18/17

"The living mother-daughter relationship, you learn over and over again, is a constant choice between adaptation and acceptance." As moms- do we try to make our children conform to our way of thinking, looking, believing, etc?
by pattidohr (see profile) 05/06/14

explore your personal relationship with your children and mother and father
by lars (see profile) 04/16/14

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

by lars (see profile) 04/16/14
grilled P B & J

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
by sara i. (see profile) 07/18/23

by Maureen W. (see profile) 06/07/19

by Sonya G. (see profile) 12/11/18

  "A book to share with your Mom"by Kathleen P. (see profile) 04/18/17

This is a book that you'll want to share with your own mom and daughter(s). Corrigan has an easy -to-read style making the book a quick and easy read. It's also a book that begs discussion, so it's ideal... (read more)

by Becca M. (see profile) 05/18/16

by Jan P. (see profile) 05/15/16

  "Glitter and Glue"by Susan D. (see profile) 03/11/15

Glitter and Glue is an enjoyable book, specially for mothers and their grown daughters.

  "Glitter and Glue"by Amy G. (see profile) 08/21/14

A lighthearted book about coming of age and finally understanding your parents. Had a great book club discussion about kids, college age life and know adult hood and how views on our own parents/spouses... (read more)

  "Glitter and Glue"by Patti D. (see profile) 05/06/14

I have to disagree with the review from wanderingjew- who saw no parallels within her own family. She criticized Kelly for being self absorbed and only interested in drinking/hooking up while in her early... (read more)

  "Glitter and Glue"by Carole H. (see profile) 04/16/14

So fun to have a book that is reads smoothly and almost everyone can relate to !!

Highly recommended.

Rate this book
Remember me

Now serving over 80,000 book clubs & ready to welcome yours. Join us and get the Top Book Club Picks of 2022 (so far).



Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...