Hester's Reviews > Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her Mother's Compulsive Hoarding

Dirty Secret by Jessie Sholl
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's review
Sep 09, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: for-realzies, read-in-2011, it-stinks, could-not-finish
Read from September 05 to 09, 2011

Hoarding is the new Bi-Polar. The reasons why people hoard and what they hoard make for some compelling and very sad television. The episodes I see of TLC's Hoarding: Buried Alive fill me with all sorts of emotions. I find myself routing for the hoarder to get better, I cry over the traumas that triggered their hoarding and I want to vomit at some of the disgusting messes they live with. Dirty Secret by Jessie Sholl makes me feel none of these things.

Sholl doesn't give us a memoir about growing up with a mother who hoards. Instead this is a vanity project in which she whines and complains about her life and how terrible she had/has it. Firstly, her mother did not start hoarding until the death of her boyfriend Roger (she was just a pack-rat who kept a messy house before his death) and that was long after Sholl was grown and out on her own. As a matter of fact, she stopped living with her mother around the age of 7.

Sholl just whines about how her mother is mentally ill, was/is emotionally and sometimes physically abusive and about her mother's odd delusions and she whines about she wanted to move out of her father's house during her teen years. Then she whines about her Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and that's when I tuned out and gave up. The author denies that her mother is the reason why she hates having a lot of material possessions around her home. Me thinks that Sholl isn't very self-aware, how in the hell can you write a memoir when you're not self-aware?
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04/19 marked as: read

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