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
I'm not the type of reviewer that gives a "book report" synopsis of a book that you might be about to read; I/you can get that in the publisher's comments. What I would like to tell you, however, is that Coming Clean is one of the most honest books I've ever read. While reading, I never felt that Kim was trying too hard to steer her story to include more drama or to shock you into feeling sorry for her. Her story was real; heartbreaking at times, heartwarming at other times and true to the title ...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
At first, I was not enjoying this book at all. I am the descendent of hoarders and a recovering-hoarder myself. I wouldn't even call it hoarding, per se; I have a high tolerance for disorder. But my father is a hoarder, my mother gave up trying to keep it all in order, and I grew up in and around my father's piles. That I've even put this into writing I would think is taboo enough. I couldn't believe Miller could publish a book about this and maintain a relationship with her parents, still. That ...more
Full disclosure and to curb possibly attacking comments on this review:
I'm mentally ill. I'm on SSDI, take meds and go to therapy. Hoarding has been one of my minor issues. My father is mentally ill, but refuses to acknowledge it or do anything about it. He also has minor hoarding issues. We're both more of the buy a lot of useless items, collect them and never throw them out. I've gotten better with mine. My father....well, he claims to not be a "collector")
That being said, Ms. Miller's parents ...more
Kimberly Rae Miller has had a dark family secret that she has spent most of her life trying to keep it hidden. Her parents are hoarders.
Miller describes her dad as a dotty, sweet man who goes around trying to collect information whether it’s listening to news on the radio constantly or picking up every little piece of paper with writing on it, putting it into bags, and storing it into the closet.
Since my dad is a hoarder too, I can relate. Unlike Miller though, I’m probably not as generous to ...more
I really wanted to like this book because the topic of extreme hoarding fascinates me. How does one grow up in a filthy, dangerous environment and survive intact? Unfortunately, the writing and tone felt inconsistent and, therefore confusing. Here's an example: The author states clearly that her family cannot afford the tuition increase at her college and will need to drop out. In the next chapter her mother is sending her to the college's summer program abroad(!).
At many p ...more
Coming Clean was fascinating in exactly the way I'm always going to find hoarding stories fascinating. However, the writing was nothing special—generally competent, but with more than its fair share of awkward sentences. I also can't say that I felt anything while reading except for shock at some of the details about the hoarding, so the overall emotional impact was low. It gets three stars from me instead of two because it was a genuine page-turner, but if you're not particularly interested in ...more
For a book about a child growing up in a hoarding environment, I found this to be surprisingly tragic. Like many others, I'm addicted the popular tv shows that feature, and some might argue exploit, this mental health issue. If you look around online, it's not hard to find articles and forum comments that are very judgmental, and often times vicious, toward the people who appear on these shows. It's not uncommon for viewers to suggest that watching Hoarders is inspiration to clean their own home ...more