“Everyone has secrets. Some are just bigger and dirtier than others. At least that’s what I told myself whenever I stood in a crowd of normal-looking people and felt like I was the only one.” Lucy has been living with a shameful secret. Her mother, who on the outside is a respected, caring and gifted oncology nurse, is on the inside a stubborn, irritated person who is incapable of caring for her children and house. And worse, her mother suffers from compulsive hoarding and she has turned their house into a maze full of massive piles of filth, clutter and junk. So far Lucy has been quite successful in hiding the family secret. Only once was her secret revealed which led to her being nicknamed “Garbage Girl” and her changing schools to escape ridicule and humiliation.
Dirty Little Secrets chronicles a day in Lucy’s life with flashbacks; a life changing day indeed. Lucy’s already challenging life becomes even more complicated when she gets home one morning after a sleepover. In the junk-clogged hallway, half covered by a mountain of fallen magazines, Lucy finds her mother’s lifeless body. How can Lucy protect the family secret now?
Dirty Little Secrets is a unique, thought provoking and extremely intense story. C. J. Omololu has developed her characters and setting masterfully. I could easily imagine Lucy’s chaotic house and almost smell the rotting scent and mold inside. C. J. Omololu has done a great job describing the personality of a hoarder. She states that she has done research with the Children of Hoarders organization and it is visible. Lucy’s voice is honest and very realistic as well. The pacing is fitting and the ending is completely unexpected. A real page turner.