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Still, I Cannot Save You: A Memoir of Sisterhood, Love, and Letting Go
Kelly S. Thompson
McClelland & Stewart / Softcover / Feb 2023
9780771051845 (ISBN-10: 0771051840)
Biography and Memoir / Forthcoming
price: $24.95 (may be subject to change)
288 pages
Not Yet Published

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.


“With this heartwrenching yet hopeful book, Kelly has turned her loss and grief into something beautiful.”—Rachel Matlow, author of Dead Mom Walking

“Told with candor and unflinching humor, Still, I Cannot Save You is a compelling portrait of a complicated sisterly love. Thompson is a master storyteller who asks readers to examine their turbulent relationships with troubled family members and the incredible bonds that hold us together. Her beautiful and affecting prose will leave you with a terrible ache in your chest. It will shatter your heart and then mend it together with tenderness and finely-wrought insight. I sobbed, laughed, and cheered for Thompson and her sister. Heroic and unforgettable.”—Lindsay Wong, The Woo-Woo and Tell Me Pleasant Things about Immortality

“With unadorned language and a keen eye for the details of everyday life, Kelly S. Thompson triangulates the position between love, anger, and helplessness.”—David Macfarlane, author of Likeness

About the Author:

Kelly S. Thompson is a retired military officer who holds an MFA and a Ph.D. in Creative Writing. Her essays have appeared in anthologies, literary magazines and newspapers including Chatelaine, Maclean’s, the Globe and Mail, and more. Her debut memoir, Girls Need Not Apply, was named a Globe and Mail Best Book and was an instant bestseller. She has won and been nominated for several writing awards, including a 2022 National Magazine Award for Personal Journalism and was longlisted for the CBC Nonfiction Award. She works as a mentor for the University of King’s MFA in Creative Nonfiction, and lives (for now) in Greenwood, Nova Scotia with her military spouse and her bull terrier, Hamlet.

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