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Coming Clean Audiobook

Coming Clean

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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.

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Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1562 )
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  •  
    serine 04-25-16
    serine 04-25-16 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "DIG INTO THE BOOK!"

    This book reminded me a tiny bit of Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. I really appreciate an author who exposes me to a life I would otherwise not have known. This author grew up with a hoarder for a parent and eventually found herself far enough away from it, and in an emotionally healthy enough state, to write about it. The result was a wonderfully reflective memoir of a girl who loved the parents who could not help but give her a substandard life. In the end, it was clear how much she had to take care of both herself and those who were supposed to care for her.

    Often it seems obvious when people rewrite history to fit their current perceptions, but this author seemed able to capture the complexity of emotion that is rarely cut and dry. I loved the cloudy nature of her relationship with her parents. It was clear they loved her and wanted her to have a happy life. At the same time, they simply could not help but engage in behaviors that made having a happy normal life all but impossible.

    I once helped a woman who was being evicted from her rented townhouse. I didn't know her very well but I felt compelled to help because she was distraught. I thought to myself, "How bad could it be?" When I walked inside, I could barely fit up the stairs because they were piled with magazines and boxes. Her couch was piled with papers. There was a tiny spot for her to sit. Her home had 3 bedrooms but only one had the tiniest path that led to a bed. The other rooms were packed with boxes, papers, and other things. While packing, she proceeded to cry and talk about every problem in the world, as if she were responsible for solving them all. At one point she had me trapped in a room and was swinging a hammer at me. I was fairly terrified. But, more than anything, I wanted to understand her brain. I can't say this book shed any more light on hoarding behavior. I still don't understand why one person is compelled to hoard, despite the huge and negative impact on their life, while others can easily throw things out. But, I definitely enjoyed reading about this woman's experience having lived with a hoarder.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Nall Sheehan 03-17-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Riveting!"

    Absolutely one of the best experiences I have had in listening to a book. It is just incredible. Delves into a subject that must haunt many in our society but is never talked about in a real way. This is the author reading what was her experience growing up as a child of hoarders and it is beautifully written, thoughtful, poignant, heartbreaking and riveting. I stayed up all night to finish it in one sitting. A must listen!!!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia 02-07-17
    Patricia 02-07-17
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    "Someone else's therapy"

    I'm sorry I have to write a negative review, since it is clear that writing this book was important to Ms. Miller, but frankly, her life just wasn't that interesting. Or maybe it was, but you can only say so much about hoarding and very few details were provided about some of the possibly more interesting things that were going on in her family - these were just hinted at or referred to in passing. As a "coming of age" story, it was pretty mundane.

    It doesn't hold even a pale candle to Glass Castle - use your credit or money for that instead

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret 06-27-16
    Margaret 06-27-16 Member Since 2010
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    "Brave & realistic"

    A loving, compassionate but brutally honest memoir about what it's like to grow up with hoarder parents. Kimberly Rae Miller is still a young adult, so there are times when her ability to help her parents and love them without being consumed by anger is quite remarkable. She also reads the book and is a trained actress, which makes the performance stronger than most author-read books. I learned a lot about hoarding from the book, and her personal resilience is impressive.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy P La Jolla, CA USA 02-01-16
    Nancy P La Jolla, CA USA 02-01-16 Member Since 2012
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    "Four and a half stars..."
    What did you love best about Coming Clean?

    This book felt like an honest appraisal of life with a hoarder and his accomplice in an unkempt and dirty home.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynnette CO 11-04-15
    Lynnette CO 11-04-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Eye opening"

    I couldn't put it away. It's a look into the emotional pain for not only hoarders, but the people who love them. This is a well told story that will stick in my mind.
    I would highly recommend this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jenny 10-25-15
    jenny 10-25-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Sad"

    How very sad. The mental illnesses that inflict us are so sad. They effect our family along with us. I never realized the torment the family has to go through. The shame the afflicted goes through. I self sorry for both. Blame could not be given to the afflicted or the family dealing with the problem.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David San Jose, CA United States 09-28-15
    David San Jose, CA United States 09-28-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Disturbing and enlightening"

    This book hit me quite hard. I'm a little too close to the subject. Both my parents horded, although not to the level described in the book. So much of her experience as the child of horders was all too familiar. Her story is told with a lot of grace and compassion. She can both hate her parents and love them, and that's beautiful. Understanding your parents can give you great sympathy. Her own father said something about the book which went something like, wow, this is quite a story, I'm sorry it had to be yours. The audiobook is read by the author who is a professional actor so is quite lovely. That little touch adds to the intimacy of the story. While there are references to various research, that is not the focus of the book. This is a very personal journey. Maybe it won't have the same impact for those who haven't experienced the embarrassment and shame of the messy house. It also reminds me how much you get used to it all, and it's only when you leave that you can fully appreciate it for what it was. Some of the stories are not for the squeamish.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randy 06-12-15
    Randy 06-12-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Amazing story!"

    The author had an amazing story to tell. She recalls the story of her life with such emotion and reality. She paints a vivid picture of what so many people go thru.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fay Wu 05-06-15
    Fay Wu 05-06-15 Member Since 2016
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    "This coming of age memoir is so honest and real"

    I loved this book. It was so honest, telling details about a little girls' life that must have been hard to reveal. Kimberly talks about how she grew up, how angry she was, her shame and guilt for feeling ashamed. She is profoundly strong and I admire her for being honest with her feelings.

    I did not like the performance of this story at all, unfortunately. Usually I prefer the author to read, because they often will show more emotion or be more engaging reading their own work, but Kimberly has a very soft and whispery voice that made it hard for me to concentrate or even hear her most of the time.

    Amazing book, but perhaps reading he written version would be much better

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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