Dirty Little Secrets

C. J. Omololu, Author
C. J. Omololu, Author Walker $16.99 (212p) ISBN 978-0-8027-8660-9
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-8027-2233-1
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-0-8027-2254-6
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Debut author Omololu gives a disturbing appraisal of how a mother’s obsessive hoarding affects her teenage daughter in this frank novel that spans a tense 24-hour period. The grief 16-year-old Lucy experiences when her mother dies suddenly at home is overshadowed by her dread that paramedics and the general public will learn her family’s secret: they’ve been living amid piles of filth due to her mother’s refusal to ever throw anything away. (“The last repairman didn’t get past the front hallway before realizing the place was too full of crap to even get near the hot water heater,” Lucy remembers.) Lucy’s decision to clean up the mess before notifying authorities may seem ill-founded and unbelievable to some, but readers will feel compassion for her as she recalls how her mother’s compulsive behavior has cost her friendships and a normal social life, as well as posing health risks. Tension intensifies as the clean-up process proves even more overwhelming than Lucy imagined. Her determination to erase the past may lead to debates about whether Lucy’s motives are rooted in selfishness, shame, or love. Ages 12–up. (Feb.)

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