Books

Just A Thought: Your Own Kind Of Girl, By Clare Bowditch

Your Own Kind of Girl is an affirmation of being. A toast to the rollercoaster of life. It is a love letter to the girls and women who struggle with every meal and for whom what they see in the mirror will never be good enough. A reminder that life is what happens when you’re not paying attention.

By Jamila Rizvi

Books

Your Own Kind of Girl is an affirmation of being. A toast to the rollercoaster of life. It is a love letter to the girls and women who struggle with every meal and for whom what they see in the mirror will never be good enough. A reminder that life is what happens when you’re not paying attention.

By Jamila Rizvi

I like to think that I know my mates pretty well. I’m not a surface buddy, I’m the person who asks pointed and uncomfortable questions. The person who gets you talking – even when you’d rather not. The one who holds a problem up to the light, rotating it slowly and examining it from every possible angle.… I’m the friend who, occasionally, you’d rather just went away.

And I thought I knew Clare Bowditch pretty darn well. Like a bunch of people in this room, I sobbed to her songs as a teenager. Ruminating over break-ups and believing that she alone understood just how I felt, and how deeply my heart was hurting. Alternating between Clare and Missy, I would find better ways to channel my rage and bruised ego than endlessly calling the object of my affection.

When we became accidental friends, over a tortured advertising campaign posing as an interview, I was quietly overjoyed. I was also acutely aware that my adoration of this woman could potentially be perceived at ‘stalker-ish’. So, I played it cool. Having never been cool in my entire life, this was extremely difficult. But I like to think that I pulled it off. Clare is kind enough to pretend that is true.

Five years on again, I thought I knew pretty much everything there was to know about Ms Bowditch. When she told me that she wanted to write a book, I cheered my friend on with a tinge of nervousness. You see, when you’re an editor, people ask you to read their work rather a lot. And, how can I put this politely, it’s not always good.

 

“It is an affirmation of being. A toast to the rollercoaster of life. It describes a woman who isn’t content to let happiness find her but has gone out to grab it.”

 

I opened Clare’s earliest of early drafts – this was well before there were literary agents and publishing houses on the scene – with trepidation. And friends, I cried. Oh, how I cried. My fears weren’t quieted but blown out of the water entirely. This woman can write and oh how she can write. There is music in her words. Stories flow from her keyboard like water from a planet-ruining, luxurious showerhead. She speaks the thoughts most of us are too afraid to say out loud.

The final product, Your Own Kind of Girl, is a triumph. It sings from every page, just like Clare does in every sphere of her life. It is honest and kind, funny and warm, sad and soulful, distressing and delicate, uplifting and life affirming all at the same time.

Readers are invited into the world of Clare Bowditch with her sweet but sorrowful childhood, her tumultuous teenage years, early twenties punctuated by joy and grief, expectation and awkwardness and then of course, discovering the love of her life and with him, making a few more.

I’ve already read reviews in the paper that, quite rightly, say Your Own Kind of Girl is a brilliant book. It is. They also, however, have focused on the more traumatic revelations contained within its pages. I understand that. I’ve been a website editor and I know that horror grabs clicks, and distress holds them on the page.

But Your Own Kind of Girl is so much more than that. It is an affirmation of being. A toast to the rollercoaster of life. It describes a woman who isn’t content to let happiness find her but has gone out to grab it. It tells the story of a family so warm and wonderful their tenderness is difficult to capture on the page. It is a love letter to the girls and women who struggle with every meal and for whom what they see in the mirror will never be good enough. It is a reminder that life is what happens when you’re not paying attention and friends, it is one RIPPER of a read.

Yes, I am ridiculously and absurdly biased and this isn’t so much of a review as it is a love letter. However, I cannot recommend Your Own Kind of Girl enough. Buy it, read it, share it and let Clare Bowditch’s stories fill you up to the brim.

Your Own Kind Of Girl by Clare Bowditch is on sale now. Buy it here.