A stunning memoir about a childhood spent growing up in a family of extreme hoarders and hiding squalor behind the veneer of a perfect family. Kim Miller is an immaculately put-together woman with a great career, a loving boyfriend, and a beautifully tidy apartment in Brooklyn. You would never guess that she spent her childhood hiding behind the closed doors of her familys idyllic Long Island house, navigating between teetering stacks of aging newspaper, broken computers, and boxes upon boxes of unused junk festering in every roomthe product of her fathers painful and unending struggle with hoarding. In this coming-of-age story, Kim brings to life her experience of growing up in a rat-infested home, concealing her fathers shameful secret from friends for years, and of the emotional burden that ultimately led to an attempt to take her own life. And in beautiful prose, Miller sheds light on her complicated yet loving relationship with her parents that has thrived in spite of the odds. Coming Clean is a story about recognizing where we come from and the relationships that define usand about finding peace in the homes we make for ourselves....
|Number of Pages||:||272 pages|
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Coming Clean Reviews
This memoir, written by Kimberly Rae Miller, was a 'mixed bag' for me! Ms.Miller wrote this memoir about growing up with a hoarder.. her father. It seemed to me that writing about her life with her parents was a sort of therapy for her and I could understand her need to do that. Throughout the book, she related her feelings of shame and embarrassment over living in the way she was forced to live. She wrote of almost needing to live two parallel lives while growing up... one life at school, where ...more
I found this book fascinating and disturbing as the author gives her insight into what it was like to grow up in a home with a serious hoarder for a father and shopaholic mother. Both of Kim's parents grew up in dysfunctional families and they suffer from serious emotional problems which they seem incapable of addressing in any sincere or consistent manner. There are periods in Kim's young life when the seriousness of the hoarding results in living conditions that are really child abuse despite ...more
As a little girl, I used to lie in bed, thinking Maybe if I endure all my pain now, I could be happy when I am older. Emerson felt like my reward for the years of shame I'd logged.
This is a memoir about a woman whose father was a hoarder. It is relatively light, uplifting, and loving - which can sometimes be missing from hoarding memoirs.
Miller loves her parents deeply. Her parents are funny, sweet, attentive, encouraging, and kind. This really shows in the novel and is something Miller stresses ...more
This book offers a factual account of what it is like as a child growing up with parents who are hoarders. Made me very interested in the topic of hoarding and why people do it; I actually researched it a little while reading this book. My conclusions are mostly because they are a little bit ADHD, OCD, easily overwhelmed, messed up in the head and...lazy? The editors of the DSM are looking to include hoarding as a personality disorder. The way Miller writes her parents, there is definitely somet ...more
A so-horrifying-it-seems-impossible memoir that has a ton of heart and a heroine you root for with each passing year. Miller grew up in squalor with one, then two, hoarder parents, and does an exceptional job sharing her story with equal parts stoicism, compassion and (eventually) anger, trying to explain her parents to the readers while not quite coming to terms with them herself. Hoarding seem unfathomable to those not acquainted with it (aka, me), and by the last chapter, I was so, so relieve ...more
I snatched this book up at the library yesterday, hoping to finally read a book that I could relate to. I have never really told anyone- except my husband and his family (and they will never know how bad it really was), but I grew up in the house of a hoarder. In the eighties, we didn't have a name for it as Kimberly writes. In the eighties, it was just the way we were. I could relate viscerally to her descriptions of her life in her filthy house. This book brought back my experiences vividly- g ...more
I listened to the audiobook, finding myself neutral as to whether there should've been a professional narrator hired instead of the author reading the book herself; her voice seemed a bit juvenile to me, but for large parts of the story, she was a girl during the episodes.
As for the story itself ... be prepared for a real rollercoaster as just when I thought things were looking up, a crisis would hit! Her father becomes so completely out-of-control with his hoarding that the place goes beyond ju ...more
Kimberly Rae Miller writes beautifully about growing up as the only child of hoarders. Her father is the main hoarder, collecting papers, magazines, and other items. They take over all surfaces in the house. Her mother, herself the daughter of a hoarder, is able to overlook this for the most part.
Kimberly, however, knows that her family is different. She is ashamed of their living space and cannot invite friends to come over. She has the carpool parents or friends drop her off at a fake address ...more