Coming Clean: A Memoir

Kimberly Rae Miller. New Harvest/HMH, $25 (272p) ISBN 978-0-544-02583-7
An only child to loving parents who were such chronic hoarders that they had to flee their over-stuffed Long Island house rather than face cleaning it, actress and journalist Miller delineates her harrowing childhood and secretive home life. Miller’s bus driver father, a brilliant, however emotionally remote man, collected papers and broken electronics, while Miller’s government-employed mother was a twin whose untreated childhood scoliosis left her shrunken and with a low sense of self-worth, although fiercely devoted to her daughter. Home life spelled a weird combination of obsession and inertia— collected stuff and unused purchases were piled so high that little room was left for the family even to eat or sleep or use the bathrooms; and filth and mold invited rodents As a child Miller realized her family wasn’t like other people’s families with tidy, presentable homes; far from it. A fire destroyed one home when she was in second grade, while the large house they moved into was soon rendered similarly uninhabitable, so that Miller never invited anyone home and had to adopt a “decoy” house to be dropped off at by friends. Eventually she went to college at Emerson in Boston where she kept a clean living space, as she did when she later moved to L.A. and New York City. The reader senses in this horrific story that Miller is still tiptoeing around her family’s dirty secret and hardly revealing the half of it. Agent: Mollie Glick, Foundry Literary + Media. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/10/2013
Release date: 07/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-544-32081-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-4692-8279-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4805-8412-9
Compact Disc - 5 pages - 978-1-4692-8298-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-4692-8317-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-4805-8413-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-4692-8336-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-4915-1177-0
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