Synopses & Reviews
Kim Miller is an immaculately put-together woman with a great career, a loving boyfriend, and a tidy apartment on Manhattanand#8217;s Upper West Side. You would never guess that Kim grew up behind the closed doors of her familyand#8217;s idyllic Long Island house, navigating between teetering stacks of aging newspapers, broken computers, and boxes upon boxes of unused junk festering in every roomand#8212;the product of her fatherand#8217;s painful and unending struggle with hoarding.
In this moving coming-of-age story, Kim brings to life her rat-infested home, her childhood consumed by concealing her fatherand#8217;s shameful secret from friends, and the emotional burden that ultimately led to an attempt to take her own life. And in beautiful prose, Miller sheds light on her complicated yet loving relationship with her parents that has thrived in spite of the odds.
Coming Clean is a story about recognizing where we come from and the relationships that define usand#8212;and about finding peace in the homes we make for ourselves.
"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)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Kimberley Rae Miller writes powerfully about her fatherand#8217;s compulsive hoarding and the dysfunctional household she grew up in, including the idyllic Long Island home that no one would have guessed was a rat-infestedand#160;wasteland of garbage, lacking heat or running water.
About the Author
KIMBERLY RAE MILLER is a writer and actress living in New York City. Her writing on food, exercise, and positive body image has appeared in Condé Nasts blog Elastic Waist, Yahoos Shine, Social Workout, and in Figure magazine. Additionally, Kim writes about New York living, celebrity gossip, and shopping for CBS Radio and