A CLUTTERED LIFE by Pesi Dinnerstein

A CLUTTERED LIFE

Searching for God, Serenity, and My Missing Keys

KIRKUS REVIEW

An affecting and humorous account of one talented woman’s search for organization and meaning.

Dinnerstein, who recently retired as a language-skills teacher at CUNY where she worked for more than 30 years, had an office infamous for heaps of boxes, a home cluttered with mementos and a head-turning car full of junk—including several pieces of lumber she intended to return to Home Depot someday. But a chance meeting with an old acquaintance on the eve of her 50th birthday caused the author to rethink her unorganized life and ask herself why she had spent a lifetime hoarding broken pottery, unsorted nails and buttons and unused furniture. What she discovered surprised her; she’d been “searching for God” the entire time. Enter “The Holy Sisters,” a group of offbeat friends and fellow spiritual seekers, who helped haul away the author’s excess physical and mental baggage. Even after an epiphany when struggling to recall why she kept a bowl with a broken lid for years, she still had a hard time letting go, as each object was attached to a memory, pleasure or future hope. Dinnerstein’s revelations amass like slowly unearthed jewels through writing, therapy and even Clutterers Anonymous. A poignant visit with her mother, an unexpected home purchase and the trauma of 9/11 combine in a breathtaking journey that delivers kabbalistic wisdom.

Patience for a hoarder’s personality is required, as the ups and downs of the quest, while realistic, are often tedious. However, hanging onto the author’s smooth-flowing voice is easy, and there is nothing junky about what she discovers beneath the rubble. 

 

Pub Date: Aug. 23rd, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-58005-310-5
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Seal Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2011




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