Clean: A story of addiction, recovery and the removal of stubborn stains
When she leaves home in New York to go to college in Boston in the 1970s, Michele Kirsch - an anxious 19-year-old, with a growing Valium dependency - starts taking on cleaning jobs to help make ends meet.
It gives her a window on the life she hopes to live: big comfortable house, teenagers' music blaring from their rooms, a crock pot bubbling away in the kitchen... And yet, when she finally does have something like that life, as a wife and mother in 1980s London, she is the one blaring music from her room, necking vodka and Valium and making an almighty mess of her home and family.
Cleaning other people's houses, eventually, is the only option left. At 50 years old, post rehab, living alone in a Hackney bedsit, Michele finds herself finishing her working life as she had begun, "in a dumb job that you do when you can't really do anything else..."This is a remarkable, powerful, and often unbearably funny memoir in which cleaning and getting clean intertwine as a strange and magical form of redemption.
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