HQ Stories 6th September 2018
Heather doesn’t want to remember her childhood, not when her mother’s extreme hoarding cast her family life into disarray.
For Heather’s mother, every possession was intimately connected to a memory, so when Heather uncovers a secret about her past that could reveal why her mother never let anything go, she knows there’s only one place she’ll find answers – behind the locked door of her spare room, where the remains of her mother’s hoard lie hidden.
As Heather uncovers both objects and memories, will the truth set her free? Or will she discover she’s more like her mother than she ever though possible?
An enjoyable read which explores the impact of hoarding on children of hoarders. Interestingly whenever I have seen programs about hoarding I have never given much thought to the impact this behaviour would have on children growing up in that environment. Heather as an adult begins to look back as she realises her mother’s ‘holding on to everything’ behaviour has resulted in the opposite in Heather – she holds on to very little, including her own memories. Following her mother’s demise and a subsequent request from her sister, Heather is forced to delve into the remains of her mother’s hoard, a task which is unequivocally traumatic for Heather but brings about a discovery and a need for answers.
There were some hints along the way of what had occurred and some truly shocking moments, but no great surprises as Heather’s story unfolded. That said this was a highly engaging and readable piece of fiction. With a key male character in the form of Jason to add a touch of romance this is really a story of recovery for Heather. As she learns to love and forgive, and to understand her past and how this links with her present. There are some horrendous moments along the way and some wonderful touching moments, as Heather reflects on who tried to help her during her damaging childhood.
Written in the third person and a then and now format, I particularly liked at the start of some chapters an item would be described. The chapter then told a story involving that item, linking the memory with the physical item and in this way seeking to explain the hoarding – whereby every item is tied up with a memory and so in this way becomes too precious to relinquish.
This book has left me thinking, which I like. Would more be done today I wonder for a child living with a hoarder, or as a society would we turn a blind eye in our helplessness. This is a piece of fiction and it is a light and romantic read but with some serious themes within, it feels enlightening and thought provoking.
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Thank you to the team at HQ Stories for organising this blog tour, inviting me to be involved and providing me with a copy of the book.
Thanks as always for reading.