Thursday, August 08, 2013

(Spoilers) Coming Clean: A Memoir by Kimberly Rae Miller -- Quick Review

***SPOILER WARNING: Spoilers may be found in the post below about VARIOUS ITEMS. And I'm going to add in a bit of filler text here to limit how much of the main article gets shown in a preview. That should take care of most of it. Hopefully. And away we go. SPOILER WARNING. ***

This was probably the quickest that I've finished a 250 book in a long while. Most of the time, I endure and skim, then still take a week to finish a 250-300 pager. It was different this time. Coming Clean was completed in about two days and not a word was missed. An event such as this is quite rare in my history of reading.

As the title suggests, the book is a memoir of the life of Kimberly Rae Miller. She's not that old. From the little googling I did and the dates from the book that I remember, more specifically events with dates, she is in her mid- to late-30s. How much of a story could a 30-something have to tell?

It turns out the answer is "a lot". The book is a memoir of her life thus far and is centered around living with two parents who are hoarders. With the popularity of shows about hoarders on A&E and TLC, the term should be self-explanatory. If it's not, a hoarder is a person with a potential psychological issue that involves amassing a very large quantity of physical items. I've heard that it may be a form of obsessive compulsive disorder.

The writer goes into great detail about her living conditions throughout her childhood under the roof of her parents. After she leaves home for college, the story follows her interactions with her parents and their hoarding. She never quite cuts them loose. Kimberly goes through her thoughts and feelings during critical events, and a lot is revealed about her personal and familial tragedies.

I found it fascinating and disturbing at the same time. Knowing a hoarder or two, there is a lot in this book that I can identify with. What makes it an excellent read, though, is that it's not just a bitter and cynical record about how hoarding wrecked her life. She also describes and reiterates the love and respect she has for both parents throughout the book -- despite the damage they inflicted.

Price and Format
I picked the book up a week ago from, which had an e-book version for only around $6 while the hard copy was just north of $15. Not having an e-reader and being someone who enjoys filling up bookshelves, I went for the hard copy. Points go to newspapers and online websites for featuring this book because I'd have never heard of it otherwise.

Grammar / Readability
There aren't any major grammatical or spelling errors that I noticed. On two or three instances, I found a preposition missing. No big deal, but noticeable.

The book itself reads very well. Language is what I found to be casual and easy -- not overly formal, just professional and smooth. Formatting in the print edition I have is excellent. The font size and line spacing is good. Nothing stands out, which is a good thing. I've read books with tiny font and blocks of text that probably didn't go through a quality editor.

Love it. Definitely recommend giving the book a shot.

Coming Clean: A Memoir

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