Your Own Kind of Girl – Book Review
Author: Clare Bowditch
My rating: ★★★★☆
Release Date: Published 28th October, 2019 by Allen and Unwin
Format: Paperback, 352 pages
What did I think?
Clare Bowditch had a privileged life in some respects (and admits so in the book) with a supportive family and friends and a good education. She eventually met a partner she could rely on, had children and a music career. But right from her early years she was dealt some harsh blows. Around the time she started school, her family lost a child to illness. Clare developed a body image problem while still young. As an adult, she had a breakdown. She has worked hard to overcome continuing, if intermittent, anxiety – and some nasty self-talk.
I enjoyed reading about her trajectory, the important happenings in her history and Bowditch has a lovely way of expressing herself. She seems sweet and relatable, and funny. There were a few moments when the text felt repetitive to me, yet there were also times when I appreciated her wisdom—from a life lived and books read—so much. She describes how she gradually moved from being an emotional wreck to getting back on solid ground and it was inspiring to read that.
Threaded throughout the memoir was Bowditch’s religious story too. Clare was raised in a faithful Catholic environment but eventually broadened her religion and spiritual beliefs. In a way that’s a warning – if it will upset you that the writer no longer considers herself Catholic, avoid this book. Personally, I could relate to much of what she said and thought about spiritually. I’m not catholic but I’ve assumed that the problems the church is now facing (having ignored and covered up so abuse for so long) must be very difficult for the average adherent who is a good person. I’ve felt for them, though to be extremely clear not as much as I’ve felt for the victims of the Church. Still, that is getting off-topic.
Other themes in Your Own Kind of Girl were music and creativity. I listened to Bowditch’s music for the very first time (as far as I’m aware) while reading this book . What a lovely voice she has and her story of fearing really giving music a go, and of taking so much solace and power from it was beautiful.
The memoir finishes with some resources for those who need or want them. I’ve already added two new books mentioned in the text to my To Read list. Plus touched on in the text was ‘It’s a wonderful life’. I’m not even that Christmassy but I love that movie!
Many could enjoy this memoir but might be especially useful for those who’ve experienced anxiety, depression and/or some forms of PTSD.
Thanks to the publisher, Allen and Unwin, the author, and NetGalley for my copy of the book, given in return for an honest review.
For more info: Goodreads – Or your local Library