This was a pretty mediocre reading week. Most of what I got through was either just plain bad or just OK. However there was one book I really did enjoy.
Coming Clean by Kimberly Rae Miller
“One of the more popular theories behind the triggers for hoarding indicates that people who were neglected emotionally as children learn to form attachments to objects instead of people. When they do connect with others, they then keep any object that reminds them of that person as a way of holding on to those attachments.”
If you follow me on Goodreads or ever talk to me about books, you probably know that I love memoirs. The darker the childhood or story, the better. I had heard good things about this particular book and I was not disappointed.
The author talks about her life growing up in New York with her parents. As a young child, she worships her father and doesn’t realize how strange his habits of keeping every piece of paper/trash he comes across in the house.
His habits get worse and worse. and we find out that he is a recovered alcoholic who had horribly abusive parents. He doesn’t even remember most of his childhood, and won’t talk about it.
As Kimberly gets older, the house they live in literally begins to crumble as it’s taken over by garbage. Her parents fight about the mess, Social Services makes regular visits because of the state of their home, and she becomes angrier and angrier at her life.
Her mom becomes horribly depressed after a botched surgery for her Scoliosis, and begins to add to the trash herself by excessive online shopping. It gets bad enough that a homeless person is able to live in their attic without them knowing.
Once Kimberly grows up, she becomes the complete opposite of her parents. She cleans excessively, won’t stand for any clutter or mess, and has nightmares about her childhood. The book ends with her coming to terms with what she grew up with and attempting to help her parents repair their destructive habits.
This book was super interesting to me. I didn’t know anything about hoarders, and was interested in all the information she provided about the psychology behind the habits. Her writing is clear, concise, and shows a lot of mixed emotion towards her parents. I appreciated her frankness and the amount of details she shared about her childhood and recovery.
Unlike a lot of the memoirs I read and talk about, this one does not have excessive abuse in it. There are a few very small instances where it is mentioned, but it’s not a huge part of the book.
Here is my Goodreads review of the book, I gave it 4/5 stars:
Want to buy this book? Here it is on Amazon!
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Have you read this book? Are you interested in it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!