I just finished reading Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu. The book centers on the main character, Lucy, a high school girl trying to make friends and fall in love and do all of the typical things that high school girls do. But she has a secret, a BIG one: her mother is a compulsive hoarder. Their house is filled with garbage, rotting piles of food, stacks of boxes of paper and other “treasures” that her mother cannot bear to part with. Lucy can’t have friends over, for fear of them discovering her secret and calling her “garbage girl” or worse. She’s been very cautious about her relationships, and has been very lonely living just with her mom in all the filth.
Fairly early on in the story, her mother dies suddenly of an asthma attack, so I’m not giving anything away. Lucy is left with the decision of how to cope with the mess that her mother has left behind – and the literal remains of her mother’s body. Knowing that her secret would become front page news if she called 911 without attempting to clean up, she has to make a difficult choice. Ultimately, her solution is shocking and yet, believeable.
Compulsive hoarding is a very real problem and is featured on the hit A & E television show Hoarders. Each 60-minute episode of Hoarders is a fascinating look inside the lives of two different people whose inability to part with their belongings is so out of control that they are on the verge of a personal crisis.
If you are interested in learning more about compulsive hoarding, check out A & E’s website about their show:
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Archive for November 20, 2010
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