• Coming Clean: A Memoir by Kimberly Rae Miller


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    Amazon Product Description:

    Kimberly Rae 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 behind the closed doors of her family's idyllic Long Island house hid teetering stacks of aging newspaper, broken computers and boxes upon boxes of unused junk festering in every room - the product of her father's painful and unending struggle with hoarding.

    In this dazzling memoir, Miller brings to life her experience growing up in a rat-infested home, hiding her father's shameful secret from friends for years, and the emotional burden that ultimately led to her suicide attempt.  In beautiful prose, Miller sheds light on her complicated yet loving relationship with her parents, which has thrived in spite of the odds.

    I downloaded this audiobook out of curiosity, free with Kindle Unlimited.  It focuses on a mental condition that has been highlighted in the TV series The Hoarders.  The TV series - as with most shows that seek to obtain and maintain a viewing audience - showcases the most extreme cases of hoarding - always escalating the cases with each season.  I watched the show until it began to slip into animal hoarding and the sad state of the hoarder and the terrible outcomes for the animals they kept.  I couldn't watch any longer.  It greatly tore at my heart.  But when I found this book, I was drawn to it as it seemed to focus on the struggle and the love that this family had for each other - while dealing with this affliction.

    I didn't expect such a sensitive and touching story.  The author reads this story in the audiobook.  Since it was her own story, I felt comfortable with her reading style. I felt compassion for her as she struggled to pull away from her upbringing while not abandoning her parents. Her supportive love for them was apparent.  The parents love for their daughter was equally demonstrated but it did not overcome the strong hold of hoarding behavior.  There is no simple resolution at the end of the story despite all their efforts, but acceptance, love and continued family loyalty provided a realistic ending to this memoir - something that was missing from all The Hoarders TV shows I watched.

    I recommend this book to anyone who wants a better understanding of this mental problem.
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