by Kelly Corrigan

Hyperion, 2010. ISBN 978-1-401-34124-4.
Reviewed by Susan M. Andrus
Posted on 05/04/2010

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Life Lessons; Nonfiction: Faith/Spirituality/Inspiration

My grandmother lost a son during WWII, when his plane went down. He was twenty years old. She marked his birthday and death-day until her own death at ninety-nine years. Did that influence the way I raised my children? The first thing I did when my son was born was to look at the lifeline on his palm to see if I could determine how long he would live. Is that silly? Or is it part of being a mother?

Then there's the other question—will I be alive to see my children grow up? My own father died when he was forty-five and did not see any of his five children grow to adulthood. Having each of my children growing up to adulthood, getting married, and having their own children was a huge relief to me.

I didn't really like my emotional reaction to this sensitive book because I like to avoid those feelings. However, this is the type of writing I might also do for my children. Raising children is challenging, for many reasons, but especially the emotions it brings out of us. Kelly Corrigan writes about motherhood and having to love, protect, and discipline without being a helicopter parent—hovering and overprotective. She also deals with how a mother constantly questions her decisions and judgment.

Corrigan expresses many of my own unvoiced concerns in Lift, a letter to her daughters on their first day of school. She examines her life before and since they were born and critiques her mothering skills. Tender, thoughtful, and courageous, Corrigan gives a voice to our inner joys and fears as mothers. This little book would be a wonderful Mother's Day gift.

Kelly Corrigan is the author of The Middle Place, a New York Times bestseller. She is a You/Tube sensation whose beloved "Transcending" video was sent woman-to-woman to more than four million viewers. She is also a contributor to O, The Oprah Magazine and Good Housekeeping, and is the founder of She lives outside San Francisco with her husband and children. Visit her website.

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