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Your Own Kind of Girl

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  1,064 ratings  ·  137 reviews
ARIA Award-winning singer and actress Clare Bowditch confronts her inner critic in this no-holds-barred memoir.

This is the story I promised myself, aged twenty-one, that I would one day be brave enough - and well enough - to write.

Clare Bowditch has always had a knack for telling stories. Through her music and performing, this beloved Australian artist has touched
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 28th 2019 by Allen and Unwin
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Average rating 4.29  · 
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 ·  1,064 ratings  ·  137 reviews

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Julie Garner
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies, arc
OUTSTANDING!!! This is an honest, open and raw memoir from an extremely talented Australian entertainer. In a week when mental health has come to the forefront in my home state, Clare’s book shares with us her experiences and helps us understand a little more how it is sometimes what is below the surface that is a person’s truth at that time.
Sitting in a cafe reading this book is a little embarrassing when there are tears falling down your cheeks in to your pie. There is such connection with her
Sarah Stivens
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Every encounter I’ve had with Clare Bowditch has left me feeling more whole. At 18, after years of obsessively listening to her songs in my bedroom, I finally saw her live at The Corner Hotel. Clare met with fans afterwards, signing albums. I’ll never forget the moment she looked at me and said: “Hey lovely, great singing tonight. I could hear you in the crowd!”. I felt warm, valued. Liked she’d just invited me into a world that was more beautiful. More compassionate.

This book does exactly
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Today, I think of the names we give mental illness more as a shorthand to describe the weather pattern our mind is stuck in at any one time. These names are not used to describe a sunny day; they are used to describe the storm... They say nothing of the strengths, or sunshine, the gold in them hills. They’re just here to predict the kind of weather pattern that might be ahead; which route we should take, and what we should pack if we want to stay dry.”

I had no idea just how cathartic of an
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A compelling memoir. I just want to squeeze that little girl on the cover in a huge hug and say, it will all be ok.
Clare Bowditch has been singing her heart out all her life, and writing songs to sing, and she's written something special here.
Her story could help a lot of people and I suspect it's already helped me. After all, don't we all have to remember to tell our inner doom and gloom voice to just shut the F*&K up :D
Reading this memoir is a great way to remind yourself of that.
Renee Hermansen
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Clare Bowditch tells her story in the most honest way within this book.
In a candid and brutally honest way she describes the death of her older sister when she was young, her ongoing struggles with her weight and how she deals with an emotional breakdown while overseas.
It is a long road back for Clare but this book is so relevant to anyone who has suffered with anxiety, depression or the pressures of everyday life or even knows someone who has. It holds many hints to help with these times and
Dec 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I was saving this for an easy read for a plane trip, but ended up reading it while sick in bed instead. Clare Bowditch seems like an incredibly lovely and kind woman who has worked hard to build a meaningful life after overcoming some challenging times, and never comes across as a victim of her circumstances. I related to a lot of her struggles and found myself unusually emotional while reading this book - my illness was definitely partly to blame there, but the way Bowditch writes about her ...more
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fave
This is the book I needed when I was 15 years old and the book I need now. Clare is a goddamn national treasure and must be protected at all costs!! ...more
*thank you to Allen & Unwin for an ARC of this book*
Theresa Smith
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have never read a more meaningful memoir, nor a more spot on account of trauma, grief, and mental illness until now, with this book: Your Own Kind of Girl. From my reckoning, Clare and I are of a similar age, so there was a great deal of nostalgia and relatable moments throughout this book for me. As a teen in the 90s, I was heavily influenced by the skeletal super model movement, and while eating disorders are more complicated than simply emulating media impressions, this was, for me, where ...more
Annalese Summerson
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Reannon Bowen
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not the story I was expecting but most definitely a story I needed.
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a book for daughters sisters mothers grandmothers aunties and girlfriends. -this is a book for anyone who cares for, loves or is close to any of those women- this book is for everyone. Bowditch has a way of sharing the bitter sweet and hard as it is, laying it before you ready for you to identify yourself and others in her experience. With humility and humour she delves into her life and shares herself in a way that can help so many. Bowditch crafts words with the care and control of a ...more
M  - The long hot spell
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 dealtsomeharsh blows. Around the time she started school, her family lost achild to illness. Clare developed a body image problem while still young. As an adult, she had a breakdown. She has worked hard toovercome continuing, if ...more
Kate Powe
Oct 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
A truly beautiful and brave account of a girl, and the weave that grief, loss, personality type, culture and circumstance has on the developing brain. Despite overriding self-doubt from a clearly gifted songwriter, singer, musician and storyteller, Clare gently pulls us through her story which never feels overwhelming or shocking, but more like a deep dive into the workings of a young girl’s brain and despite it being tragic and personal, it really does feel universal. It feels like an insight ...more
Kelly Anderson
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book from start to finish. It’s like I got to know myself better through Clare’s sharing of her experiences. I’m ready to tell my own Frank to F off now too.
Dec 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this, but I struggled to get past the second chapter. Too much "I remember when..." repeated over and over. Maybe you need to go into it knowing more about the author or as a fan of the author. I hadn't heard of her before I embarked on this but hadn't thought it would matter much. Apparently it does.
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: australian, biography
I found this story to be very comforting to me, and close to my truth. There are many different parts to Clare’s story, not all of which I could relate to, but what particularly touched me was chapter two. Some stages of life require solidarity in pain and grief without excuse, rather than the message of many stories of adversity - of silver linings and lessons learnt. It may seem counterintuitive, but silent empathy in a painful situation gives me more hope than anything else. At least right ...more
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh, so beautifully written It felt like Clare was literally sitting down with you, sharing her story over a cup of tea. She talks directly to you at times. She is a talented writer and has put this talent into composing her life journey so far. Interesting that she categorized her story into areas of her life (anxiety/breakdown, career, love life) rather than sequentially. I had a little trouble piecing it together with her life jumping back and forth in time, however it does give her the ...more
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
My first ever biography and wow what a moving read. I have suffered from mental health for as long as I can remember and even though I am open with my friends about it you still feel like the odd one out. Clare Bowditch's personal story has made me feel more at peace about my anxiety and also has made me not feel like I am a weirdo because i do suffer from it. She has made it sound like it can be lived with and you can be just as amazing as you deserve. Clare had me in tears, laughing and just ...more
Ellen McMahon
Highly recommended. Beautifully written, intensely relatable and somehow, as heartwarming as it is heartbreaking. I read this after reading Bowditch's essay in The Motherhood, in which I fell in love with her voice.
Janet Tait
Jan 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
An important book to be read by our young generation to say negative thoughs are real and okay. A book that talks anxiety, eating disorders and depression and the havoc it reeks on ones life. A book to open dialogue and Clare has begun that with her brave raw account of her suffering. A book that also describes the amazing unrecognised work of Dr Claire Weeks on anxiety treatment way before her time and still relevant today.
Thank you Clare!
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful book written by a beautiful human. This was recommended to me by a family member--the audiobook, specifically--and I am so glad I listened to it as it's a really special experience. Can't stop listening to Clare's songs but I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate the new year!
Deepa Gopinath
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
I went into this expecting to love it as I'd heard so many good things. I pushed on for about 1/3 of the book. I guess for me it was too much repetition around body image issues which I found a bit depressing and tedious.
Rania T
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
While browsing in Mary Martin Books in Port Melbourne I couldn't help but overhearing the lovely lady behind the counter recommending this to one of her customers. Needless to say, I put it on my reading list and have enjoyed reading this memoir of dealing with grief, anxiety and body image and finding your voice. But some things I have to say; I do hope the doctor that prescribed that terrible diet to Clare when she was 10 has since been deregistered. Also, that lot's of interesting women have ...more
Charlie Gingell
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A sweet memoir. The perfect summer reading book.
Courtney Bradford
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Relatable, emotional and raw but so good you can’t put it down
Natasha (jouljet)
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
A memoir of one of my favourite singer/songwriters, revealing her battles with mental ill health, grief and loss, and recovery. It's a book of pain, and rising up from that pain to find music, love and happiness.

Each chapter begins with lines from a song - and Clare's voice and songs that have been playlists for many years spring from the pages. But now with deeper meaning about what was going on for her as she was writing them. Both in termsof her creative process, and her life turmoils.

This is
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous book! So honest and raw. We can all learn a lot from this beautiful lady’s life story. Thank you for writing this Clare. ...more
Janice Forbes
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It made me cry, a lot. Good tears.
Kate Harrison
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved the way it was organised and found in very relatable. Some confronting issues but generally a lovely focused biography. Left me wanting more as she only touches on a small part of her life. Claire shares openly elements of herself that are deeply personal but puts mental health in the limelight and sets to destigmatise something that is not easy to talk about.
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Clare Bowditch is a story-teller who lives in Melbourne with her husband Marty, their three teenage children, a white groodle, and one lone surviving free-ranging guinea pig. In terms of 'the fancy stuff', Bowditch is a bestselling ARIA Award-winning musician (Best Female Artist), Rolling Stone Woman of the Year (Contribution to Culture), Logie-nominated actor (for her role as 'Rosanna' on hit TV ...more