COMING CLEAN: A Memoir
By: Kimberly Rae Miller
Published: July 23, 2013
Publisher: New Harvest
Sometimes our house is cluttered with toys, sports equipment, mail and newspapers, dirty dishes, laundry, etc. I tend to get tense and stressed until everything gets put away and taken care of. This kind of clutter is nothing compared to the kind of clutter, filth, and horrendous conditions that Miller grew up in. Miller’s father was a lover of all papers and electronics (working or not) and would pile them up into all corners of the house from floor to ceiling. After a difficult surgery, her mother was confined to bed and became a compulsive shopper, often times never even opening the boxes of merchandise that was constantly being delivered to their home. In COMING CLEAN, Miller recounts her childhood growing up being ashamed to live in squalor.
I found her story fascinating, riveting, and heart breaking. Her childhood of never having sleepovers, not being able to sit on furniture or even the floor, and yet having parents who loved and supported her were such oxymorons.
“Every night before I went to sleep, I would conjure the image
of the actor George Burns in my head and ask him for the things I wanted most in life:
new dolls, a best friend, and for my house to burn down.” Page 36
As an adult, Miller believes that each time she cleans her parents’ house out, it will stay clean…until the next time. She constantly feels like she can fix her parents and becomes physically and psychology exhausted and overwhelmed. As a reader you want to scream at her for constantly going back and yet understand her desire to care for her parents and their needs. Reading this book will make you look at the clutter in your home in a whole new way.
Kimberly Rae Miller is a writer and actress living in New York City. Her writing on healthy living has been published on Conde Nast’s blog network, Social Workout, Yahoo’s women’s network Shine, and in various magazines. She also contributes entertainment news to CBS Radio and CBS New York. In 2010, Kim was featured in Katharine Sise’s breakthrough career guide Creative Girl: The Ultimate Guide for Turning Talent and Creativity into a Real Career. You can read her personal blog at TheKimChallenge.com.
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