Coming Clean

Coming Clean

A Memoir

Book - 2013
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Kimberley Rae Miller writes powerfully about her father’s compulsive hoarding and the dysfunctional household she grew up in, including the idyllic Long Island home that no one would have guessed was a rat-infested wasteland of garbage, lacking heat or running water.

Kim Miller is an immaculately put-together woman with a great career, a loving boyfriend, and a tidy apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. You would never guess that Kim grew up behind the closed doors of her family’s idyllic Long Island house, navigating between teetering stacks of aging newspapers, 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 moving coming-of-age story, Kim brings to life her rat-infested home, her childhood consumed by concealing her father’s shameful secret from friends, and 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 us—and about finding peace in the homes we make for ourselves.

Baker & Taylor
A memoir about growing up in a family of extreme hoarders describes how the author's childhood home in Long Island hid rat-infested stacks of her father's collections and how the family's emotional burden led to the author's suicide attempt and her against-all-odds bond with her parents. 30,000 first printing.

& Taylor

A memoir about growing up in a cluttered and rat-infested home--the result of her father's struggle with compulsive hoarding--describes how the burden led to the author's suicide attempt and her against-all-odds bond with her parents.

Publisher: Boston : New Harvest/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013
ISBN: 9780544025837
Branch Call Number: B MILLER 2013
Characteristics: 256 p


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Jan 29, 2018

Having recently read Coming Clean by Kimberly Rae Miller, I was aware that she was born in the same year as my older son and yet her life was extremely difficult because of her father's extreme hoarding problem. His habits created conflict in the marriage, resulted in a disastrous house fire and a feeling of shame and embarrassment in his daughter Kimberly.
It took many years before she was able to admit to her friends that her life revolved around the revolting living conditions created by her parents and that she and they(her parents) needed help.Her story gives us a deeper understanding of the difficulties and health problems faced by children in these situations.
She loves her parents but writes about the daily issues of trying to belong and cover up the horrors of living in a cluttered and filthy environment. She is torn between wanting to protect them and feeling angry at the repeated need to clean up and sort out their mess.
I would recommend this autobiography as it is very engaging and you can relate to her difficulties and also the complications which can result from a parent who has an obsessive problem such as hoarding.

GillyGal Oct 21, 2017

Biographies are not my go to books but I found this one interesting and well written. The author writes about hoarding from the child's perspective. I gained insight and understanding about a difficult topic. I would recommend this biography.

Apr 22, 2014

Fascinating story of a daughter, her parents and their stuff. It is told without blame or embellishment and makes for a fascinating read.

JCLColleenO Apr 16, 2014

This book explores the stressful relationship between a daughter and her hoarding parents. It gives a fresh perspective on what it would be like to live as a child in a serious hoarding situation, yet never be able to make a clean break due to the love for her parents.

Mar 10, 2014

Excellent autobiography of growing up with parents who are hoarders. It's incredible how things can get so out of control, and also incredible how the love shared between her parents and the writer has managed to not only survive but grow stronger.

Mar 02, 2014

Really enjoyed this easy to read book that had my attention from the start. The story told of the difficulties, shame, and trauma of being raised in such a dysfunctional home but the story was so much more. It told of how difficult, and sometimes impossible, it is for some people with this behaviour to change. Also, it showed that despite, the behaviour and disfunction, there was a deep but complicated love between each of the family members.

Nov 20, 2013

Interesting book which lays bare the author's pain and love for her parents, who were hoarders. It affected all their lives greatly and adversely. She tells her story with great affect and concern and love. Not a light hearted read, but worth reading nevertheless.


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