Women's History Month
For Women's History Month The Book Babe will be focusing on memoirs written by women, biographies of women throughout history, and books that highlight women's issues or have a feminist focus.
"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."
Coming Clean is the memoir of blogger Kimberly Rae Miller. Kim's parents are hoarders and she grew up in utter filth and deplorable living conditions. Imagine living in a home so messy that your family doesn't even realize there's a person living in their attic because they just blow off the sounds coming from the attic as that of rats. Imagine that you live in a home with no running water and that your home is virtually flooded due to broken pipes. Think of only being able to take a shower once a week during your families weekly visit to the gym, which they joined for the purpose of being able to shower. Imagine stacks and stacks of papers piled all around your home, so much there's only enough room on the couch for one person to sit on it at a time.
This book made me feel queasy at times. It was also inspiring. Kim lives with the shame and embarrassment of her childhood even as an adult, which is something that I can relate to. I didn't have the same childhood experience as Kim, but equally crappy in it's own way.
Coming Clean is not only the story of an emotionally scarring childhood, but also a story of family, love, and forgiveness. Kim pulls herself out of the ashes, sometimes almost literally. I can relate to her need to make something of myself to prove that I am more than my childhood.
This book kept me turning the pages. Not so much out of the horror of hoarding, but because it was such an intriguing memoir and I really liked Kim from the first page. She didn't come across as whiny or "woe is me". The reader can almost sense that she's trying to work out her emotions and childhood and her parent's mental illness as she is writing the book, yet the writing comes across as neat and clean much like Kim's adult life.
I am giving Coming Clean 4 out of 5 stars.