Thursday, July 19, 2012
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: THE SECRET PAIN OF A HOARDER -- A REVIEW
Her secret is hers alone, she believes, but when her son Jack is injured by a falling tower of objects, she is rudely awakened to its impact on others. And when a social worker appears, bringing the intrusive world of Child Protective Services into her life, Trish is alternately angry, belligerent, and reeling from denial.
A seemingly insurmountable task faces Trish at this defining moment in her life. She can lose her son or she can clean up the house that she scarcely sees for the wreck it has become. And achieving this task might mean accepting the help of her "perfect" sister Mary, whose own pain hides behind the spotless exterior of her life.
What will Trish and Mary discover about their own childhood secrets as they chip away at the walls of objects that have protected Trish—and their mother before them? And when they face the tragedy that claimed their mother's life fourteen years before, will they finally understand what drove her? A secret diary in one of Trish's trash-filled rooms holds the key to their mother's pain. And behind the wall of objects, another secret is hidden. Will Trish finally acknowledge the blow that drove her into the hoarding descent she swore she would never repeat?
Alternately telling the story from Trish's and Mary's points of view, Keepsake delves into the psychological disorder that fuels hoarding—Obsessive Compulsive Disorder—even as the human elements are shown to the reader. Each woman has deep wounds with which she has coped in very different ways. Accepting the past and moving beyond denial is the first step each of them must take to start over. This beautifully wrought portrait of family life gone awry earned five stars from me.