Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Secrets and Lies

Lucy's mom is a hoarder. She never throws anything away, and flies into a rage at the mere suggestion of cleaning up. Over the past several years, Lucy's home has become something resembling a garbage dump. Lucy is humiliated by this. She can't even invite friends over. If anyone found out about Lucy's living condition, her social life would be over. Or worse. Then one day Lucy arrives home to find her mother is dead, her body half buried underneath a pile of old magazines.  Lucy knows she should call 9-1-1, but she fears what others will think when they see how messy her home is. So Lucy makes a decision: Before she calls anyone, she will clean up the house the best she can. But the task is much more complicated (and much more disgusting) than she ever could have imagined. As the day passes, Lucy realizes the extent of her mother's illness. Finally, Lucy makes the hardest decision of her life. C.J. Omololu's novel Dirty Little Secrets is both fascinating and disturbing. As is the case with a horrible accident or reality TV, you simply can't look away. Those with a weak stomach might want to skip this one (there are some really icky parts). Overall, though, Lucy is a believable character and readers will likely sympathize with her struggle: Doing what's right vs. maintaining an image to the world. --AJL  

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