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Coming Clean | [Kimberly Rae Miller]

Coming Clean

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 and her childhood consumed by concealing her father’s shameful secret from friends.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2013 Kimberly Rae Miller (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (240 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Margaret Alameda, CA, United States 07-29-13
    Margaret Alameda, CA, United States 07-29-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Vicarious Hoarding"

    I have an interest in hoarding that I find hard to explain to myself, since I've never seen it in my own family (we're mainly drunkards) nor among my friends (more victims of bad taste rather than hoarders.) I suspect it may be a reflection of my own "everything in its place, and I mean EVERYTHING, do I have to do everything around here myself? Were you raised by wild pigs?" mentality.

    But whatever the reason, since awareness of the disorder (and I do think it's a mental disorder with physical symptoms) surfaced in mainstream culture, I've been fascinated. I think I really want to know why someone would do this to themselves and their families.

    Kimberly Rae Miller does not answer this question. Instead, she gives us an insider's look at what it is like to grow up in a hoard and to love the parents who "chose the stuff over me." I was really surprised by the strength of the love binding Kim and her parents, bonds that all the stuff in the world couldn't break (though there were times...)

    I admit I was teary-eyed at several places in the narrative, which the author does very skillfully herself. At the end, I was pretty sure that Kim is as in the dark as most people who do not have the disorder are about why hoarders do the things that they do, but that she was lucky to come from the family she did nonetheless.

    Recommend.

    18 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Simonton Texas, USA 11-20-13
    J. Simonton Texas, USA 11-20-13 Member Since 2012

    Fun Happens

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    "Amazing Story with So-So Narration"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Coming Clean to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version.
    I do love audio books and hearing the author read this book was definitely a plus. However, the author was almost whispering through long portions of the book. Maybe she was just a little too close to the material to be a good choice to read it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Coming Clean?

    Definitely when the author tells a little white lie that turns into a massive problem for her parents.


    What three words best describe Kimberly Rae Miller’s voice?

    Soft, Whispery, Detached


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes, knowing that there are millions of people in the US who live in houses at all stages of hoarding. To think of children trying to survive in these conditions is just heartbreaking. Seeing an hour long television show is nothing like hearing about decades of the problem affecting a family.


    Any additional comments?

    I think the author did an amazing job of showing her parents as people who are struggling with a disorder, but that was not the only thing that defined them. I truly hope that she is able to set appropriate boundaries and have a family of her own.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara 11-17-13
    Sara 11-17-13 Member Since 2006

    Sara in MI

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    "Very well done!"
    What did you love best about Coming Clean?

    It was a well organized story about the emotional struggles resulting from growing up with hoarding parents. I didn't have to backtrack, thinking I missed a key piece of information. The story and narration flowed smoothly and kept my interest.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the honesty of the writer. Her struggles on several levels were sad, but fascinating.


    What about Kimberly Rae Miller’s performance did you like?

    Loved the performance! Her voice is smooth and clear with appropriate inflection. The fact that it was HER story came through stunningly in the narration.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd love to read/hear more works by this author.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Utah 03-05-14
    Amazon Customer Utah 03-05-14 Member Since 2009

    tired teacher

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    "Hoarder!"

    Who knew that being the daughter of a compulsive hoarder would precipitate so much dysfunction? This is an eye-opening book written by the only child of a man who could not throw anything away, and a woman who was a compulsive shopper. Not a good combination. The reasons for these dysfunctions are deep-seated and hard to remove. As part of her journey, Kimberly had to accept the fact that they would probably never change. It was a rough journey for all of them, but beautiful to watch as Kimberly was able to achieve her own goals. Very well written and narrated, this book was a great listen.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne 05-13-14
    Anne 05-13-14
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    "Amazingly difficult story with a "happy ending.""

    Not since "Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls has a memoir moved me so deeply (and if, after reading Coming Clean, you find yourself thinking "what a great book!" you might want to read or listen to "The Glass Castle: A Memoir")

    I digress. Ms. Miller offers the memoir of her childhood entrapment in and young adulthood escape from the misery of her very sick parents with simple, very clean prose (fitting, it would seem.) From the first words, it was clear that this was an unusually bright child with a very big problem - two, in fact. Her parents' mental and physical challenges create a world for this little girl that is difficult to imagine ... until she tells us about it. Then it comes to life.

    Her gift for presenting her little girl's world with the brutal frankness of a child, without flinching from the facts or sparing our feelings makes the unfolding of the story mesmerizing. But it is in some ways also joyful to read because, as adults, we understand how broken her life was and yet how much she was given by parents who, while damaged and damaging, were also as loving and generous and giving as they knew how to be.

    The book is also a testament to the tenacity of some people and their ability to overcome. She could do what her father and mother could not and thus saved not only herself but, to a great extent, her parents as well.

    I found Ms. Miller's reading of the book to be less than satisfactory as her very soft voice and the "flat" presentation were distracting. I also found her range of voices was very limited so It was sometimes difficult to follow who was speaking when it was not her character, her father or her mother. A professional narrator might have given the characters more depth, which I think would have been a good thing.

    Nevertheless, it's a deeply moving, extremely compelling, what-in-the-world-will-happen-next story.

    Highly recommend for either reading or listening.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elisabeth Durham, NC, United States 02-09-14
    Elisabeth Durham, NC, United States 02-09-14 Member Since 2008
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    "It's Like a Car Wreck..."

    ....you can't look away. I feel so incredibly normal after listening to Miller's tale of life with two hoarding parents. She draws a clear picture in the listener's mind of the filth and chaos amidst which she lived as a child and the impact that situation had on her as she became an adult. Though the book is relatively short, it is just the right length to keep your interest.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vickie 05-03-14
    Vickie 05-03-14

    I'm an avid reader who now listens to books on tape. I'm a bit late to the game but enjoying the hands free reading.

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    "Willing to be Frightened"
    Where does Coming Clean rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was an amazing account of a woman's life as a child of hoarders. Her storytelling was compassionate and compelling. Normally I wouldn't read such a book as I have judgements about people who hoard. But Miller's narration drew me in from the very beginning and I couldn't stop listening. Even when I was uncomfortable and disgusted, I continued listening for what would happen next.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HRD Kansas City 04-17-14
    HRD Kansas City 04-17-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Excellently read by author and riveting"
    Where does Coming Clean rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best-read memoirs.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Coming Clean?

    The failure of her mother's surgery.


    What does Kimberly Rae Miller bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her voice.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Her introduction.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish more memoirs on audible were read by the authors.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Alberta, Canada 02-10-14
    Mary Alberta, Canada 02-10-14
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    "Terrific insight to a hidden life"

    I wasn't too taken with this book when I started & listened to a few other books thinking to return this book in a day or so. For some reason I started listening again & my engagement with Kimberly Rae hit me big time. While Iike many. I know a bit about hoarders, I know very little about the effect of hoarding on family members. The author explained the "love/hate" that many family members feel towards the hoarder or indeed any addict family member very lucidly and with much compassion. I wish Kimberly Rae & her family a happy healthy future as I do anyone struggling with an addiction & it has effect on the family members.
    This book is well worth the time & credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan PUNTA GORDA, FL, United States 02-09-14
    Susan PUNTA GORDA, FL, United States 02-09-14 Member Since 2011

    Profesionl, hard working woman who travels weekly, enjoys life. My best Friends are Michael and Scooter. Nonfiction books are the best!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautiful Story, Great Narration"
    Where does Coming Clean rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Up at the top, I had no idea what it was about so I took a chance and I'm glad I did.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The Narrator was perfect


    Which character – as performed by Kimberly Rae Miller – was your favorite?

    The daughter


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The whole book did, all of us try to grow up but parents won't let us sometimes. I can only imagine how embarrassed she was as a child.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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