Thursday, July 23, 2015

BOOKSPARKS TRUTH OR DARE BLOG TOUR: A Different Kind Of Same: A Memoir by Kelley Clink

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Genre: Memoir
  • Paperback: 207 pages
  • Publisher: She Writes Press (June 9, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1631529994

Synopsis: Two weeks before his college graduation, Kelley Clink’s younger brother Matt hanged himself. Though he’d been diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a teenager and had attempted suicide once before, the news came as a shock—and it sent Kelley into a spiral of guilt and grief. 

After Matt’s death, a chasm opened between the brother Kelley had known and the brother she’d buried. She kept telling herself she couldn’t understand why he’d done it—but the truth was, she could. Several years before he’d been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, she’d been diagnosed with depression. Several years before he first attempted suicide by overdose, she had attempted suicide by overdose. She’d blazed the trail he’d followed. If he couldn’t make it, what hope was there for her?

A Different Kind of Same traces Kelley’s journey through grief, her investigation into the role her own depression played in her brother’s death, and, ultimately, her path toward acceptance, forgiveness, resilience, and love.

My review: This story is moving and emotional. It moves back and forth in time, delving into childhood memories, the mental health issues of herself and her brother, and the impact those issues had on their adult lives.

Kelley came from a family where silence was the rule when it came to mental illness, so discovering that Matt had been writing a secret blog for two years before his death came as quite a shock. She found herself wondering if she had ever really known who Matt was.

You can tell there is nothing held back in this memoir. We learn how Kelley felt at the time of her diagnosis, and how it affected her entire family. We also see how the family reacted to Matt's diagnosis. It appears the siblings were the first in their family to suffer from a mental illness.

This was a quick, fascinating read. I've known people with mental health issues, but never this much in depth. It was eye-opening for me.

My rating: Four stars

About the author:
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Kelley Clink is an advocate for suicide prevention and mental health. She has degrees in literature from the University of Alabama and DePaul University. Her writing has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, including Gettysburg Review, Colorado Review, Woman's Day, and The Huffington Post. She is the winner of the 2014 Beacon Street Prize in Nonfiction and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She lives near Chicago with her husband and son.

1 comment:

Ira Kharchenko said...

Really great post:) Have a nice day!