Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan is so intimate, moving and hilarious that it is as if When Breath Becomes Air had been written by Nora Ephron.
After the unthinkable loss of her friend Liz followed by the unbearable loss of her father Greenie, both to cancer, Corrigan desperately wants to deserve her own life and the people in it. She starts to think a lot about the power of words and ultimately the twelve phrases that make love and connection possible. Each phrase is an essay in this book.
In the chapter I Was Wrong, Corrigan has a total parental meltdown that involves a dog, poop and an unflushed toilet. Evidence that she and I would be fast friends in real life.
My favorite phrase is No. It’s such a trope to coach women on how to say no without feeling guilty, but Corrigan is better than anyone else at teaching this particular lesson. She uses her mother as an example. “Very few people I’ve known are able to set themselves free the way my mother has. Liberated by the simple act of saying no.”
The essay on Yes is actually a running list of things Corrigan will always say yes to. “Salted caramel, salted rim, salty jokes” among them. More evidence that she and I would be fast friends in real life.
More than anything else this book reminds me of a C.S. Lewis quote that my dear friend Dina introduced me to: “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
Many thanks to another dear friend Lauren for gifting me this book. Best paired with a Red Lobster poor of icy cold Sauvignon Blanc.