Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu
Summary: Lucy has a dirty secret – her mom is a hoarder. All her life she’s had to keep friends away from her house, especially after a few kids found out and started calling her “Garbage Girl.” Finally Lucy has a chance at being friends with Kaylie, and a date with Josh, but only if she can hide her secret.
Then one morning Lucy finds her mother dead under a pile of stuff that toppled over. The last thing she wants is for police and paramedics to come to the house and not even be able to get through the maze of stuff. She’s sure that will end in news cameras and everyone finding out. So Lucy decides that she will clean the mess before calling… and keep her secret safe.
I… just… want… to… clean!
I love the show “Hoarders.” It inspires me to clean my house. I can be a bit of a packrat and my apartment can get cluttered quickly, but this show gets me inspired to clean. I can imagine how Lucy, now that her mother isn’t forbidding her to throw anything away, just wanted to do a clean sweep of the house, but as I’ve seen time and again on that show, even just throwing everything away is a huge undertaking. Lucy finds herself getting sidetracked as she uncovers bits of her past, and she also has to deal with Sara and Phil, her older siblings who left as soon as they could. Sara is following in her mother’s footsteps and Phil just keeps telling Lucy to hang in there. The family dynamic and history is a huge part of the hoarding problem. Lucy’s mother isn’t totally villainized for her problem – Lucy relives memories of her mother’s positive qualities and unearths some great things her mother has done.
In the end, Lucy finds a way out of the problem. I wish it had been a bit more direct, but overall I thought this took an interesting problem and explored how it affected everyone involved.