Linda's Reviews > Cleaning House: A Mom's Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement

Cleaning House by Kay Wills Wyma
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's review
Aug 13, 2012

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Read from August 13 to 23, 2012

I enjoyed this woman's narrative, but the reader needs to be aware of who is telling the tale. This is an upper middle class (possibly lower upper class) woman with a decent-sized house (three bathrooms!) and household help that comes in two times a week, who does not hold a job outside the home. Her school-aged children go to private school (well, it's Texas; the public schools were devastated by Bush and Perry, so I suppose she has to send them there). She has the time and resources to devote to a project of this type.

I did find the constant religious sermons offensive and sanctimonious. At the times, this book seemed to become a Christian manifesto.

I was also really struck by her fear at the beginning of the book stating she thought she might have been raising socialist children. She is politically confused; socialists are what she actually wants to raise, with every worker contributing to the good of the whole to the best of their ability. I can understand that she would have trouble with the idea, as she used to be a staffer for Dan (Potatoe) Quayle. Her comments do suggest that she exists in a bubble of people who share her political and religious beliefs and her substantial family income level. Ironically, the values and ethics she is trying to instill in her children are liberal ones; all about empowering and caring for our communities.

I applaud her efforts, and she shares many interesting ideas. Her kids seem like nice people. I hope she exposes them to a diverse group of people, including those of different ethnic groups, religions and political views.
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Dana I am confused by why so many people seemed to be offended by the christian nature of the book. In every description I have seen, it is pointed out that it is that kind of book.

I do see your point on the "socialist" comment though. She should have used another word.

I don't think the ideas are liberal ones. I live in a society much like her's though I would consider it middle..I think that all depends on where you live. However, I have friends who are in other "social groups". Most all of us try to teach our children to help others.

Linda It's the way she pushes it on the reader. They may be relevant to her journey, and I don't fault them, but even her charity is all centered around the church. Most of her friends cited in the beginning are missionaries, which by definition try to foist their religion on others without regard for values and beliefs others already hold. It's the missionary way in which the book is written that I find offensive. I think it would have been nice if the values and accomplishments could have rested on their own merits, rather than needing to frame it in the context of one particular religious viewpoint.

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