Friday, January 7, 2011
When her divorced mother was diagnosed with cancer, New York City writer Jessie Sholl returned to her hometown of Minneapolis to help her prepare for her upcoming surgery and get her affairs in order. While a daunting task for any adult dealing with an aging parent, it's compounded for Sholl by one lifelong, complex, and confounding truth: Her mother is a compulsive hoarder. Dirty Secret is a daughter's powerful memoir of confronting her mother's disorder, of searching for the normalcy that was never hers as a child, and, finally, cleaning out the clutter of her mother's home in the hopes of salvaging the true heart of their relationship--before it's too late.
Praise for Dirty Secret:
"Sholl explores the psychological reasons why being merely a pack rat can erupt into full-blown hoarding. By the end you're sympathetic to both mother and daughter and understand how a parent's obsession can become a child's."
-- People magazine, 3.5 stars (out of 4).
"Suspenseful and novel-like, Dirty Secret is a wonderful, respectful introduction to the world of a hoarder and the tribulations suffered by both the individual who hoards and their family members."
-- Fugen Neziroglu, Ph.D. author of Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding: Why You Save and How You Can Stop
"Affecting and illuminating."
-- Kirkus Reviews
"[Sholl] offers a compelling and compassionate perspective on an illness suffered by an estimated six million Americans that has only recently been explored through reality television programs."
"From a literal mess of a childhood, Sholl has emerged to tell a compelling and sparkling-clean story that will captivate anyone who has ever tried to let go of the past."
-- Elisabeth Eaves, author of Bare and Wanderlust
Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her Mother's Compulsive Hoarding is available at fine bookstores, including Borders, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and IndieBound.
Watch the trailer for Dirty Secret HERE, and read more of Jessie's thoughts about compulsive hoarding, memoir, and other pertinent obsessions on her BLOG.