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Saturday, December 10, 2011

HOW UNLEASHING THE SECRET SETS YOU FREE -- A REVIEW

When we're children, we sometimes feel as though others have a better life than we do. Especially if our family is different in some way. Maybe the difference is that one or both parents are alcoholic. Or perhaps the difference lies in some type of abuse going on in our lives. Maybe our family is poor.

Whatever we're dealing with, we are schooled in the homes where we grow up to keep the secret.

Jessie Sholl's secret was her mother's hoarding behavior, and in this insightful memoir, Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her Mother's Compulsive Hoarding, she shares not only the behavior, but many of the emotions, the history, and the ways in which her mother's disorder affected her life. And then she described how she finally broke free. Much in the way the children of alcoholics do: by accepting that she could not change her mother's behavior. Once she did that, she could step back and not take responsibility for it.

But before that could happen, she had to go through a process and some very painful, ugly realities on the road to freedom.

Like a conversation, Sholl describes her life, her feelings, and how she gradually changed...as if she is telling it to friends or to a support group. Something she discovered at a point on her journey: an online group for the children of hoarders.

She also begins to develop a great deal of insight into what her mother's world view looks like. In a get-together toward the end of this journey toward recovery, she, her mother, and her husband are having lunch.

"While they talk, I find myself imagining that I've shrunk myself down, so tiny that I'm microscopic. As this microscopic being I'm able to enter my mother's mind. Once I'm in, I try to look around. It's dark, too dark to see. But I can feel what's in there. And there's so much. It's filled with isolation and disregard and abuse. It's filled with uncertainty and self-doubt. It's filled with laughter, too. It's filled with friendless winters. It's filled with salty breezes and ten happy years with a man who truly loved her. It's filled with chaos and emptiness when that man was gone...."

In this excerpt, we come to understand the etiology of this disorder for one woman and her family. A captivating five-star read that I will never forget.

12 comments:

  1. I want to read this one also it is on my Wishlist. I like the sound of the flow of this book.

    I love your sidebar categories, captivating, I want to read etc. Never noticed that before.

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  2. I hadn't heard of this one ... thanks so much for the review!

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  3. I loved this book, Marce...it read like a novel, but with the conversational tone of someone you know. Hope you like it, too.

    Glad you like the sidebars....and thanks for stopping by.

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  4. I first found it on another blog, Melissa...isn't blogging great?

    Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. I want to read this one, excellent review Laurel!

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  6. Thanks, Sheila...glad you could stop by. Hope you enjoy this one.

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  7. Thank you for reviewing this book in such a way that I'm already hooked. The voice sounds wonderful and definitely something I could sink my teeth into. I'm off to buy a copy. I shouldn't, not at this time of year, but ooh, I can't help myself.

    Merry Christmas, Laurel.

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  8. Thanks for stopping by, Joylene...hope you enjoy it!

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  9. Hording is so scary - have you heard about the book Homer and Langley. It is fiction but based upon a true story about these two men who both horded.

    It took them several weeks to find their bodies when they died. So scary!

    Nice review as always Laurel.

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  10. Oh, I haven't heard of that one, Shellie, but it sounds like one I couldn't possibly read!

    Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. I'd really like to read this - I find the tv show Hoarders fascinating and have read a couple of non fiction books about hoarding. I'm glad you give this one such a strong recommendation

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd OUt

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  12. Even though this one is a memoir, the author has written it so engagingly...almost like a novel.

    Loved it!

    Thanks for stopping by, Shelleyrae.

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