Coming Clean by Kimberly Rae Miller

Coming Clean

A stunning memoir about a childhood spent growing up in a family of extreme hoarders and hiding squalor behind the veneer of a perfect family. Kim 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 she spent her childhood hiding behind the closed doors of her family’s idyllic Long Island house, navigating between teetering stacks of aging...

Details Coming Clean

TitleComing Clean
Release DateJul 23rd, 2013
PublisherNew Harvest
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography Memoir

Reviews Coming Clean

  • Kelly Butcher
    I snatched this book up at the library yesterday, hoping to finally read a book that I could relate to. I have never really told anyone- except my husband and his family (and they will never know how bad it really was), but I grew up in the house of a hoarder. In the eighties, we didn't have a name for it as Kimberly writes. In the eighties, it was just the way we were. I could relate viscerally to her descriptions of her life in her filthy house...
  • ~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
    3.5 starsThis review had to wait because I had to disinfect my house. Serious Lysol action, people, because this: Is NOT OK. I'm the flipside of a hoarder. I scrub my tile with a toothbrush. I've probably traumatized my children forever by saving only their best school/craft projects (and only then in digital format) and throwing out the rest. I can't abide knick-knacks. I threw away my high school year books (who needs those as a reminder of cla...
  • Carmen
    As a little girl, I used to lie in bed, thinking Maybe if I endure all my pain now, I could be happy when I am older. Emerson felt like my reward for the years of shame I'd logged.This is a memoir about a woman whose father was a hoarder. It is relatively light, uplifting, and loving - which can sometimes be missing from hoarding memoirs.Miller loves her parents deeply. Her parents are funny, sweet, attentive, encouraging, and kind. This really s...
  • Julie
    This book contains 254 pages of some of the most blatant self-aggrandizement I've ever read. It's a memoir, supposedly, about one woman's experience of growing up with a hoarder father and a compulsive shopper mother, but, really it's a story about Kimberly Rae Miller, her exceptional beauty, her career as an actress, and her amazing website.At 254 pages, the book is approximately 100 pages too long, and, though Ms. Miller tells her readers that ...
  • Julia Roller
    I'm sure many other reviewers will also compare this book to The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, for its portrayal of a resilient daughter growing up with intelligent but troubled parents. Both books are great reads. Kimberly Rae Miller's book is so easy to read that you can almost forget at times how troubling her story is--born to loving parents who were also chronic hoarders. Her dad collected paper and broken parts of just about everything, ...
  • abby
    For a book about a child growing up in a hoarding environment, I found this to be surprisingly tragic. Like many others, I'm addicted the popular tv shows that feature, and some might argue exploit, this mental health issue. If you look around online, it's not hard to find articles and forum comments that are very judgmental, and often times vicious, toward the people who appear on these shows. It's not uncommon for viewers to suggest that watchi...
  • Julie Ehlers
    Coming Clean was fascinating in exactly the way I'm always going to find hoarding stories fascinating. However, the writing was nothing special—generally competent, but with more than its fair share of awkward sentences. I also can't say that I felt anything while reading except for shock at some of the details about the hoarding, so the overall emotional impact was low. It gets three stars from me instead of two because it was a genuine page-t...
  • Jay Warner
    This book was recommended to me by the Children of Hoarders group. Since I am the child of a hoarder, I was interested to see how Miller's experiences compared to mine and how she dealt with growing up in a hoarded home. I found her style easy to read and finished the book quickly. Her descriptions of walking on stacks of slick papers and not wanting her friends to know where she lived were particularly vivid. Sometimes I felt she tried to ration...
  • Dawn Edgar
    This book offers a factual account of what it is like as a child growing up with parents who are hoarders. Made me very interested in the topic of hoarding and why people do it; I actually researched it a little while reading this book. My conclusions are mostly because they are a little bit ADHD, OCD, easily overwhelmed, messed up in the head and...lazy? The editors of the DSM are looking to include hoarding as a personality disorder. The way Mi...
  • Lori
    I'm not the type of reviewer that gives a "book report" synopsis of a book that you might be about to read; I/you can get that in the publisher's comments. What I would like to tell you, however, is that Coming Clean is one of the most honest books I've ever read. While reading, I never felt that Kim was trying too hard to steer her story to include more drama or to shock you into feeling sorry for her. Her story was real; heartbreaking at times,...
  • Alice
    Great4/5 ⭐ This was a really well written memoir and I enjoyed it a lot, especially the epilogue. The end.
  • Topaz Mckenzie
    I've been following Kimberly Rae Miller's healthy lifestyle blog "The Kim Challenge" for a few years and I've enjoyed her meal updates and witty banter on exercise videos and love.I thought "Coming Clean" would be an extension of her blog and as I started to flip the pages I soon discovered it was anything but. I've watched "Hoarders" and have turned my nose at the filth and chaos these people lived in. This is why "Coming Clean" rocked me to the...
  • Willow
    Kimberly Rae Miller has had a dark family secret that she has spent most of her life trying to keep it hidden. Her parents are hoarders. Miller describes her dad as a dotty, sweet man who goes around trying to collect information whether it’s listening to news on the radio constantly or picking up every little piece of paper with writing on it, putting it into bags, and storing it into the closet. Since my dad is a hoarder too, I can relate. Un...
  • Laurel-Rain
    Growing up as the child of severe hoarders, the author of "Coming Clean: A Memoir" describes in great detail what that was like for her.In her narrative voice that felt like a conversation, she revealed how her home was not just an embarrassment that she had to keep secret, but that sometimes the house was festering with the detritus of the clutter until pipes burst, mold grew, rats proliferated throughout, and at one time, a homeless person was ...
  • Barbara
    Hmmm. I really wanted to like this book because the topic of extreme hoarding fascinates me. How does one grow up in a filthy, dangerous environment and survive intact? Unfortunately, the writing and tone felt inconsistent and, therefore confusing. Here's an example: The author states clearly that her family cannot afford the tuition increase at her college and will need to drop out. In the next chapter her mother is sending her to the college's ...
  • Tom
    This book was simultaneously hard to read and hard to put down.Hard to read because the author's depiction of the filth and neglect she grew up in is rendered in agonizing detail. The family's trials and tribulations are also quite harrowing - and all the more-so when you realize that this book is non-fiction. Kimberly Rae Miller lived through this. Sometimes I had to put the book down and walk away.But I would quickly come back. Miller tells her...
  • Allison
    A so-horrifying-it-seems-impossible memoir that has a ton of heart and a heroine you root for with each passing year. Miller grew up in squalor with one, then two, hoarder parents, and does an exceptional job sharing her story with equal parts stoicism, compassion and (eventually) anger, trying to explain her parents to the readers while not quite coming to terms with them herself. Hoarding seem unfathomable to those not acquainted with it (aka, ...
  • Emma Sea
    The writing is engaging enough, but Miller didn't bring anything to the subgenre I haven't read before. Side note: I can't believe memoirs by adult children recovering from the childhood trauma of hoarding parents is a subgenre now.
  • FabulousRaye
    Full disclosure and to curb possibly attacking comments on this review:I'm mentally ill. I'm on SSDI, take meds and go to therapy. Hoarding has been one of my minor issues. My father is mentally ill, but refuses to acknowledge it or do anything about it. He also has minor hoarding issues. We're both more of the buy a lot of useless items, collect them and never throw them out. I've gotten better with mine. My father....well, he claims to not be a...
  • John
    I listened to the audiobook, finding myself neutral as to whether there should've been a professional narrator hired instead of the author reading the book herself; her voice seemed a bit juvenile to me, but for large parts of the story, she was a girl during the episodes.As for the story itself ... be prepared for a real rollercoaster as just when I thought things were looking up, a crisis would hit! Her father becomes so completely out-of-contr...
  • Marialyce
    This was quite a revealing book into the life of a child growing up with parents who are hoarders. At times her harrowing experiences of living in filth with rats, bugs, maggots, and other assorted circumstances were enough to turn one's stomach.Through it all however, the author claims to have and still love her parents. In a way this book is a tribute to how her spirit and that of many others with similar experiences sill managed to grow up and...
  • Darlene
    This memoir, written by Kimberly Rae Miller, was a 'mixed bag' for me! Ms.Miller wrote this memoir about growing up with a hoarder.. her father. It seemed to me that writing about her life with her parents was a sort of therapy for her and I could understand her need to do that. Throughout the book, she related her feelings of shame and embarrassment over living in the way she was forced to live. She wrote of almost needing to live two parallel l...
  • Anne
    This book was really, really, really, really, really, really, really hard to read. Not because of the text itself, but because of the similarities of experience. A friend who hadn't yet read the book passed this on to me, because she wasn't going to have time to read it yet. I didn't read the liner notes. The title and the cover made me think it was going to be a romantic fiction of some sort. I opened up to the first page to start reading and, n...
  • Raquel
    This is a memoir by a young woman whose parents are hoarders and who grew up in homes nearly uninhabitable due to all the pile-up. She lived the experience of hoarding before there was really a term for it. The story is harrowing and fascinating. Miller, however, is not a terribly skilled writer. She tells more than showing, her writing is often clumsy and awkward, she breezes past important plot points without offering much detail or insight, le...
  • Cait Ní Cheallaigh
    At first, I was not enjoying this book at all. I am the descendent of hoarders and a recovering-hoarder myself. I wouldn't even call it hoarding, per se; I have a high tolerance for disorder. But my father is a hoarder, my mother gave up trying to keep it all in order, and I grew up in and around my father's piles. That I've even put this into writing I would think is taboo enough. I couldn't believe Miller could publish a book about this and mai...
  • Angela Risner
    Kimberly Rae Miller writes beautifully about growing up as the only child of hoarders. Her father is the main hoarder, collecting papers, magazines, and other items. They take over all surfaces in the house. Her mother, herself the daughter of a hoarder, is able to overlook this for the most part. Kimberly, however, knows that her family is different. She is ashamed of their living space and cannot invite friends to come over. She has the carpool...
  • Kelsey
    This story was so clearly emotional for the author to write, very upsetting to read at times, and absolutely BANANAS. My heart hurts for this woman's childhood, but I was glad to read of the progress her family has made at the end. Just, whew. It is a ride.
  • Jeanne
    I found this book fascinating and disturbing as the author gives her insight into what it was like to grow up in a home with a serious hoarder for a father and shopaholic mother. Both of Kim's parents grew up in dysfunctional families and they suffer from serious emotional problems which they seem incapable of addressing in any sincere or consistent manner. There are periods in Kim's young life when the seriousness of the hoarding results in livi...
  • Michael
    Kim is an ordinary girl who lives with hoarders. In particular,her dearing Father cannot throw anything away,as a result their house is full of used paper scattered around. Mold on food,rat infestations,furniture ruined,and cluttered places is enough to drive anyone insane. Yet Kim adores her Father,she just wishes that he finds help to cure this problem.While her mother tries to suffice the hoarded life,she questions if she wants to stay in the ...
  • Nan
    I picked this book off my "Kindle pile" last night around 8:00....and at 3:00 AM, read the last chapter. I simply could not stop reading this fascinating (and at times, very disturbing) memoir of growing up in a home with not one, but eventually two, hoarders. As a therapist, I found Miller's descriptions of returning again and again to clean up the piles of "stuff" that her parents had accumulated is a vivid and realistic description of how addi...