Coming Clean: A Memoir

Kimberly Rae Miller

Published by New Harvest, 2013
ISBN 10: 0544025830 / ISBN 13: 9780544025837
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Kimberly Rae Miller is an immaculately put-together woman with a great career, a loving boyfriend, and a beautifully tidy apartment in Brooklyn. You would never guess that behind the closed doors of her family’s idyllic Long Island house hid teetering stacks of aging newspaper, broken computers, and boxes upon boxes of unused junk festering in every room—the product of her father’s painful and unending struggle with hoarding.

In this dazzling memoir, Miller brings to life her experience growing up in a rat-infested home, hiding her father’s shameful secret from friends for years, and the emotional burden that ultimately led to her suicide attempt. In beautiful prose, Miller sheds light on her complicated yet loving relationship with her parents, which has thrived in spite of the odds.

Coming Clean is a story about recognizing where you come from and understanding the relationships that define you. It is also a powerful story of recovery and redemption.

Review: An Amazon Best Book of the Month, July 2013: Most children who grow up in dysfunctional families don’t realize at first they’re any different from anybody else—but Kimberly Rae Miller is more observant than most; from childhood, she had a growing sense that there was something wrong in her household. A brilliant guy who ended up driving a bus, Miller’s father was an extreme hoarder, and the family’s normal-from-the-outside (at least for a while) Long Island home was a mess (or treasure trove, depending on your point of view) of useless (or fascinating) papers and junk (important stuff). In Coming Clean, Miller, an actor and writer, chronicles her weird childhood and adolescence, but what’s really unusual about this buoyant, winning memoir is that for all that the author describes the familial dysfunction in heartbreaking, copious detail—and for all that she sometimes lost patience with her parents—she never stops showing that she loves them. As readers we come to love them, too—partly because, whatever else, they managed to raise such a smart and witty and generous daughter. —Sara Nelson

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Title: Coming Clean: A Memoir
Publisher: New Harvest
Publication Date: 2013
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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