Review of Dirty Secret by Jessie Sholl

Dirty Secret by Jessie ShollI almost feel bad saying that I enjoyed this book because it’s a memoir about a painful topic and it is set at a very difficult time in the author’s life. My maternal grandmother was a hoarder, so I know how maddening it is to try to reason with someone who is in the grip of their possessions.

Rather than focusing on stories about the hoard itself, this book talks about the interpersonal problems and unforeseen consequences of hoarding. Sholl’s mother struggles with setbacks ranging from physical things like pest infestations to deep emotional consequences like lost relationships with family and friends. This is a fast, high-interest read that I’d recommend to anyone who has had to deal with a loved one who is or was a hoarder.

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