Thursday, August 5, 2010

Book Review: Lift by Kelly Corrigan

Lift by Kelly Corrigan is a slim volume that is a love letter to the author's two young daughters.  Having two children myself, I could of course appreciate the desire to write something to let my babies know some important things about how I thought about them, how they were,  my hopes for them, some wisdom I have gathered over the years, what I was thinking, the experiences that drove my actions, what I was trying to achieve, why I failed them at times, and why I was such a great success at other.

Corrigan is a cancer survivor and this of course informs how she writes this letter to her daughters.  To me, there's an underlying sadness (or is it sentimentality) that was sometimes difficult for me to get through.  Especially since, aside from her own life and death struggles, she speaks of the death of the son of one of her close friends.   She actually spends 1/8th of the book on this subject (and since the book is not more than 100 words, this is actually a good chunk of the book).  I think she tried to draw lessons from the boy's death that she could pass on to her children in this letter to them but all I felt was this choking sadness and loss that really darkened the whole message and beauty of the book.  Still, there was a lot of "lift", insight and wisdom bolstered by the humor that life will often impart.

I enjoyed it tremendously.  There were some real jewels in this book the main one being how the author derived the title.  The writing was lyrical and really, you could complete the book in one sitting.  I don't know if it's because I'm a mother myself that this book touched me.  I can't say my review of it is unbiased.  But for such a little book, it's well worth the read.  I'm looking forward to reading her other book soon.  

Here is an excerpt from Lift.

Immediately after reading Lift, I began to read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (which a  new movie is based on).  I couldn't even get a quarter way through: too gorey and heart-wrenching.  I honestly coudln't do it.  

Currently, I'm re-reading The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta (one of my all-time favorite novels).  Once I finish that, I'm so looking forward to reading Dreaming Me by Jan Willis.  I want to get into some other books about Black Buddhists too. 

And I am just wondering to myself . . . I believe and hope that I am at least a good an author as some of these wonderful authors I have been reading.  Wondering when my time will come.

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