Sue'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
Jan 08, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: memoir
Read in January, 2011

If you watch the TV show Hoarders, then I'm betting you will like this book. If you don't watch the TV show Hoarders (as I don't), then you may still like this book and find it useful as a motivator for doing your spring cleaning!

I wish the rating system would allow for 1/2 points, because I would really rate this book a 3.5. The author is the first to write a memoir from the perspective of a child in a hoarder's house, and as she struggles to educate herself about her mother's illness in an attempt to understand her, she educates the reader as well. (For instance, it's childhood EMOTIONAL deprivation, rather than MATERIAL deprivation, that appears to be a constant in the history of people who hoard.) I also appreciated the reader's additional account of her long path to healing after a repetitive stress injury; only someone who has also sustained a similar injury can fully relate to how much pain a KEYBOARDING injury can produce. (So beware, Goodreads friends, as I know you all obviously like to write on your computer. Don't overdo it!)

I found this book interesting in the way a train wreck is interesting -- you know you're witnessing a terrible thing, but you just can't look away! And, as I said, at the very least, it's great motivation for spring cleaning. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy contemporary memoirs.

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NerdGirlBlogger I’m hosting a giveaway for 3 copies of Dirty Secret, if you are interested. Enter to win here:


Contest ends on Monday, January 17, 2011 and is open worldwide.

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