Glitter and Glue

Every daughter has a mother, and whilst some relationships are more fraught than others, I can only guess that no mother-daughter relationship is plain sailing at all times. This book struck so many chords with me, particularly having had an equally "uncool mother" like Kelly Corrigan's who wouldn't let me paint my nails, wear make-up, heck, even get contact lenses as she was "sensible" and would not pander to my vanity. Similarly, I wasn't allowed to watch trashy TV, read trashy books (Enid Bly Every daughter has a mother, and whilst some relationships are more fraught than others, I can only guess that no mother-daughter relationship is plain sailing at all times. This book struck so many chords with me, particularly having had an equally "uncool mother" like Kelly Corrigan's who wouldn't let me paint my nails, wear make-up, heck, even get contact lenses as she was "sensible" and would not pander to my vanity. Similarly, I wasn't allowed to watch trashy TV, read trashy books (Enid Blyton was borderline, I was allowed to get them from the library but not own them) or hang out with 'trashy people'. Oh dear. As a result, I became addicted to Australian soap operas at school, read nothing but Marian Keyes and other such chick lit authors and found myself the scuzziest boy-friends possible. The joys of teenage rebellion. As I moved country and no longer lived at home, I started appreciating what she had given me, the moral compass she had (tried to) set for me, and the values to look for in myself and other people. As a result, I've made very few duff choices in friendships, have been

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able to trust my judgment and been self-reliant ever since I moved out of the family home, just turning 16. However, it was not until I became a mother myself in early 2004 that I started truly admiring my mother and what she had been through, and turning to her at every milestone moment to share it with her, ask for her advice and use her as a sounding board, whether it was mothering matters or work issues with clients or colleagues. She was the person who knew me best, the only person who had nothing but my best interests at heart, and the person who would always be brutally honest with me. She is irreplaceable, and whilst the sharp pain of grief has been dulled over the last 8.5 years, I think of her all the time, and would give my right arm to have one last grown-up conversation with her.

No wonder then that I spent most of the time crying as I was listening to this wonderful memoir. They were tears of laughter, sadness, joy and grief, not only for my own absent mother, but also for Milly and Martin Tanner in Corrigan's story who lost their mother to cancer, aged 5 and 7. Heart-breaking. Kelly Corrigan's self-awareness, self deprecating humour and her astute observations (into what motherhood means, how we all somehow end up channelling our mothers - our worst nightmare as teenagers - and that whatever kind of mother we end up with, she is usually the best one we could have wished for) are well worth this wonderful book. Especially if you are a daughter, or a mother, or both!

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Category: Review

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