A Different Kind of Same by Kelley Clink
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Published May 5, 2015: She Writes Press
Review copy from publisher. This did not affect my review.
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.
“There’s so much beauty in violence. From a distance.“
How does one compose a review about a subject so tragic, yet so compelling? Kelley recounts the time after her brother Matt’s suicide and the events she believes may have led up to his death. The way Matt moves like a shadow in her wake. Following in her footsteps, never faltering. Succeeding in a part where she failed: death.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF SAME shows Kelley’s journey in finding out all that she missed about her baby brother and his disorder. She goes through boxes, tries to understand another’s similar disorder and works on her mental illness. Healing and fear, sadness and hopelessness. These are the major themes of the book. Unfaltering, head held high and unflinching prose, the memoir begs the question of why? Why do the one’s we love leave? Why does this certain brand of madness consume people so fully? To the point where they would rather die than live?
I absolutely adore the writing in this book. There are so many parts of the book that just tugged and tore at my heart-strings. However morbid and strange it may be, I have this fascination with mental illnesses and disorder. Whatever you prefer to call them. I think that this book lets me get a little closer and view those with the mental state a little clearer. And I think that that is important. To be understanding. A little less ignorant.
And the way she presented her tale was so blunt, but it was in a gorgeous way. It wasn’t glitter coated, but it wasn’t really….gore soaked?….it wasn’t that either. It was a story.
This is my first memoir that I read because I wanted to read it. And I am so glad I did read it. Chose to read it. I didn’t expect it to be so much of a story as it was. I loved it. The writing was pretty and the memoir is told in a very straight forward manner that the reader can’t help but appreciate. I appreciated it. And I think everyone else who reads it (I’m looking at you) will like it as well.
The one complaint I have is that the ‘plot’ (is that what you would call it?) is that it skipped around a little bit. I was confused from time to time. But, it did maintain a relatively steady way of the telling of the story.
Overall, I would totally recommend this book to everyone. It was well worth reading.