Monday, January 17, 2011

Dirty Secret - Jessie Sholl

Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her Mother's Compulsive Hoarding

Dirty Secret
by Jessie Sholl

What can I say about this book? Let me start with...READ IT! Read it because you are curious or because you can relate to it or because you think you won't relate to it (because you will most likely find a part of it you can relate to). This story has relevance to almost anyone. Jessie Sholl has gotten down and dirty (sorry about the pun) with hoarding and she writes about her experience in the most honest, fascinating, horrifying, hilarious, and heart wrenching way.

Growing-up, Jessie's mom always kept her house in a state of disarray but it wasn't until a specific event that she really became a compulsive hoarder. Jessie shares her experiences, shedding new light on hoarding in an extremely well-researched way.  The book develops around Jessie and here mother, Helen, who I found to be quite adorable at many times in a...whimsical sort of way and all the crazy things she did, strangely, just added to that.  Jessie also incorporates enough of what was going on in her life outside of her mother to really highlight how being the daughter of a compulsive hoarder affects her and the people around her, people like her husband David.  David has to deal with a lot but through it all he is so supportive and understanding that by the end of the book I had a crush on him (shh...don't tell my husband).  

Jessie is easy to relate to and quite hilarious. I just want everyone to read Dirty Secret so I have more people to talk to about it. It's not hard to imagine that I can relate to some of the things she talks about (check out the name of my blog folks) and yes it caused me to go on a major cleaning spree (which my husband loved) but in the end it comes down to family. Sometimes you love them, sometimes you don't want to step foot in their house but they are there and you have to deal with them so you may as well laugh about it.

I feel like I could gush forever about Dirty Secret and I don't actually want to do that for fear of what I call the "Mockingjay Syndrome." I don't want to hype it up to be so good that it can never live up to your expectations. There are no dancing Leprechauns or shiny rainbows at the end of this book. This book will not lead you to a pot of gold....well maybe it will lead Jessie Sholl to a pot of gold...actually it probably won't but it should, she deserves a pot of gold, or at least a rainbow...what was I saying? Gold...rainbows...expectations, right!

So, moral of the story is read this book...and check back this Thursday, January 20 to read my interview with Jessie Sholl. 

**Source: I received this ARC for review from the author to write an honest review. The fact that Jessie Sholl is doing a Q&A has in no way affected my review. I read the book and wrote most of my review before most of the correspondence with Jessie that made me realize how awesome she is. Please believe me when I say I really, truly loved this book as much as I say I do.


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Sounds like this one is well done. I read another book on hoarding in 2010 and watch the show from time to time. It boggles my mind that someone can be like this. I toss everything!

Anonymous said...

Well - what a recommendation! I don't understand hoarding but I am fascinated by how people get to that point. Going on my TBR pile.

Angelique said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog, I really hope you enjoy These Things Hidden.
I'm a book hoarder too...and Dirty Secret will be heading for my TBR pile. Great review, you really made me want to read this one!

Athira said...

This book sounds so good! I'm going to have to check it out.