Tag Archives: Kelly S. Thompson

Still, I Cannot Save You: A Memoir of Sisterhood, Love, and Letting Go by Kelly S. Thompson Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Kelly S. Thompson shares a painfully emotional yet moving story of facing the past, rebuilding the bonds of sisterhood, and the love that endures in the face of hardships and struggles between sisters in the book “Still, I Cannot Save You: A Memoir of Sisterhood, Love, and Letting Go”. 


The Synopsis

With honesty, love, and humour, in this moving memoir, Kelly S. Thompson explores her relationship with her older sister, Meghan. Tested by addiction, abuse, and illness, the sisters’ relationship crumbles, only to be rebuilt into an everlasting bond.

Kelly Thompson and her older sister, Meghan, are proof that sisterhood doesn’t always equate to friendship.

Growing up within a military family, the girls were close despite being temperamental opposites–Kelly, anxious and studious, looked to her big sister for comfort, and Meghan, who battled kidney cancer as a toddler, was gregarious and protective. But as she approached adulthood, Meghan spi­ralled into a cocaine and opioid addiction, and Kelly’s relationship with her sister was torn apart.

Their paths diverge as they live their own lives, and it is only when Meghan becomes a mother that she and Kelly tentatively face past hurts and reexamine what sisterhood really means. But their reunion is threatened when Meghan receives a shocking new diagnosis on a day that should be one for celebration. Now, as the family reels at the prospect of the biggest loss imaginable, Kelly and Meghan must share all that they can in the time that they have, using their mutual sense of humour to chart a course through the darkest of days.

At once funny and heartbreaking, Still, I Cannot Save You is a story about addiction, abuse, and tragedy, but above all, it is a powerful portrait of an enduring love between sisters.

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The Review

This was a powerful, emotional read. The author does a remarkable job of capturing the honesty and hardships of her relationship with not only her sister but her family and loved ones as a whole, delving into the complications that addiction had on the sister’s relationship together with gritty imagery and a tense atmosphere that underscored the mental and emotional scars that addiction can have on everyone involved. The rich dynamics between the author and her whole family not only speak to the complexity of the bonds that are tested between family during times of high stress and impending loss but the chemistry that defines each person’s unique relationships as a whole.

The themes of this book were powerfully felt throughout the entire book. Not only did addiction play an internal role in the breakdown of the bonds between the author and her sister, but the hurdles they overcame to rebuild that relationship and the horrific toll that coming to terms with a loved one’s impending death really hit home for me, as this happened a few years ago with my grandmother and I could feel the overwhelming weight of that pain the author touched upon with their moving writing style.

The Verdict

Passionately written, engaging, and truly moving, author Kelly S. Thompson’s “Still, I Cannot Save You” is a must-read memoir and nonfiction book. The thoughtful approach to the themes of this book and the honest and visceral writing style the author takes in bringing these memories to life will not only resonate with many readers but showcase a depth of emotion that will immediately draw the reader in and show the wealth of humanity residing within these chapters. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Kelly S. Thompson is a retired military officer who holds an MFA and a Ph.D. in Creative Writing, and has been published in ChatelaineMaclean’s, the Globe and Mail, and more. Her debut memoir, Girls Need Not Apply, was named a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book and was an instant bestseller. She works as a mentor for the University of King’s College MFA in Creative Nonfiction, and lives in Nova Scotia with her military spouse and bull terrier.