My daughter gave me Kelly Corrigan's The Middle Place for Christmas and boy-oh-boy did I ever enjoy it. So good, so good! It's fresh, witty, smart, engaging, honest... did I mention fresh?
I've found that, as a writer, it's hard to read for pleasure, I mean really let go and simply lose myself in the story because there's always a part of my brain on the lookout: analyzing, editing, acknowledging. My brain sent up flares right from the get-go: pay attention, there's some really great stuff going on here!
The format is one chapter in the now, dealing with breast cancer, and one chapter in the past, showing us high school dances, going off to college, getting married. Back and forth we go and, at first, as a reader, I inwardly groaned when the "now" chapter ended because that's where I wanted to stay -- I wanted to keep going with that thread, wanted to see the details of cancer, see the nitty-gritty of it. But my groaning wasn't a full-on groan, more like a sigh, and even then, by the third switch I'd started to welcome the unfolding of the past. The past is important, of course, as it informs the present. And the two are interwoven masterfully here.
If this book isn't already on your to-read list, add it!