Glitter and Glue


When I was growing up, it used to drive me crazy when my mom would say, “You’ll understand when you’re a mother.” That used to be one phrase (of many) that would have me storming off to my room and slamming the door behind me. It felt like an insult, like how could I possibly understand? I wasn’t old enough or mature enough to understand?

But then, once you become a mother, you realize that she was right and you realize that you’ve started to channel your mother through your actions and reactions. And it also makes you want and crave to know your mother more, as the person she was outside of being your mom.

That’s what the book Glitter and Glue dives into – the sticky, messy, tricky relationship between mothers and daughters.

Kelly Corrigan Glitter and Glue

I had the chance to hear Kelly speak at an event and was gifted an advance copy of Glitter and Glue. I had not read any of Kelly’s other work. Actually, I had not heard of Kelly prior to this event but the moment that she sat down on stage and started talking, I just wanted to keep listening to her speak.

That’s the same way that I felt when I read Glitter and Glue. I wanted more and more of her words and stories. Kelly is a storyteller who quickly draws you into the narrative.

She shares her post-college experience traveling the world. But while in Australia, she’s forced to take a job as a nanny to earn some money. It’s while being thousands of miles away that she begins to unravel her complex relationship with her mother, and really between all mothers and daughters.

Glitter and Glue signature page

She was always close to her father and her relationship with her mother has sometimes been fraught. Her mother explains that it’s because “[your father] may be the glitter but I’m the glue” – the glue that holds the family together, that deals with the every day, that deals with the hard stuff that allows her father to be the happy-go-lucky cheerleader of the family.

It’s through her role as a nanny for two children who recently lost their mother to cancer and acting as a surrogate mother to the family that Kelly begins to truly understand and appreciate her own mom for the first time, that she begins to understand how important the glue is for the family.

We all vow that we won’t be like our parents but they live deep in our souls. Her trip leaves her yearning to know her mom better. Her reflection on her experience with her family in Australia is all the more poignant given Kelly’s own health battles.

Kelly offers a real and authentic voice. I can’t wait to dig into her other work. Just watch this video and her ode to motherhood.

Glitter and Glue is on sale today.

{I wasn’t compensated for this review and all opinions are 100% my own. The links to purchase the book are affiliate links but I only share and review products that I love and highly recommend.}


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  1. says

    Oh wow. I have to say that there’s no way I can read this book anytime soon. As you know, my own mom died from cancer when I was only 17 and this would be too much to take. I LOVE the idea of it and I would love to read it but I would have to be in just the right place mentally, to do so. I’m glad she wrote this book and the title is so very true for so many moms. Thank you for bridging it to light!
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  2. says

    I soo want to read this. As I watch the complex relationship between my grandmother and mother maneuver through tough times. As I watch the complex relationship between my mom and me maneuver through interesting times.
    And I have a daughter! And she totally seems to like her dad better. The glitter.
    Thank you for posting about this. Somehow I think with Des, some things will be harder and some things will be easier than with Scarlet. And it’s fascinating to read about it.
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  3. says

    I don’t know if I will read this book or not – my mom and I have pretty much always struggled and now we don’t even speak. I guess there is a chance that the book might remind me of my relationship with my grandmother.
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  4. says

    Your review really makes me want to read this book, Christine. I’d never heard of it. I have a complicated relationship with my own mother, so I think I’d enjoy reading about someone else’s :) My mom is one of my best friends, we talk daily, etc. but we get hung up on religion and that’s where it gets tough between us …
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  5. says

    I need to read this one. I think I told you I read her first one several years back and really loved it. And yes, I can remember growing up vowing to parent so differently from my mom. Of course I am different, but if I can be half as good a mom as she has been, then I’ll be doing a good job!
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  6. says

    More and more, I’m noticing many of my reactions to my children to be the way my mom reacted to me. And not by coincidence, I think as I get older, I can appreciate my mother on a different level. It’s hard work being the glue! And it’s not work that’s appreciated. Our kids are too young to appreciate us. We can’t expect us. Our (ex)husbands really have no idea what we do minute to minute and second to second. And as a society, moms are too busy ripping apart other moms to support each other. But our moms love us unconditionally. Thanks for the introduction to this book, Christine. I had not heard of it before!
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  7. says

    Sounds like a book I’d like too. I remember my mom saying “I hope you have a daughter just like you one day” I used to hate that too. It seemed like an insult as well (You have no idea how difficult you are!). I used to say “met too”. Now I’m like, oh crap.
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