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 newspaper, broken computers, and boxes upon boxes of unused junk festering in every room—the product of her father’s painful and unending struggle with hoarding. In this coming-of-age story, Kim brings to life her experience of growing up in a rat-infested home, concealing her father’s shameful secret from friends for years, and of 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 us—and about finding peace in the homes we make for ourselves.

Coming Clean Details

Book TitleComing Clean
Book Author
by 11,762 users

Coming Clean Reviews

  • Abby
    Oct 7, 2016


    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...

  • Emma Sea
    Aug 5, 2016

    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. ...

  • Liralen
    Jul 27, 2016


    Before there was ever a word for hoarding, I knew that whatever driving force drew my father to garbage was beyond his control. (137)Miller writes of growing up with two parents who hoarded—of it being her norm in childhood, and eventually realising that most people did not live t...

  • Charlene Lewis- Estornell
    Apr 22, 2016

    Charlene Lewis- Estornell

    This book reminded me a tiny bit of Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. I really appreciate an author who exposes me to a life I would otherwise not have known. This author grew up with a hoarder for a parent and eventually found herself far enough away from it, and in an emotionally heal...

  • Carmen
    Mar 28, 2016


    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 -...

  • Allison
    Nov 7, 2015


    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) ange...

  • Anne
    May 3, 2015


    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 r...

  • Kelly Butcher
    Jul 24, 2014

    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'...

  • Darlene
    Jan 10, 2014


    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. Throug...

  • Cindy
    Jan 6, 2014


    While reading other reviews of this book there are several comments like perhaps the author is still too young to write about her experiences with her parents, there is no resolution to the problems, and the author seems to be enabling her parents time after time. While all of this is ...