This book was prescribed in a bibliotherapy session and coincidentally read while cleaning out my own home of twenty years. Trigger alert if you are, or ever had to deal with a hoarder. The core word to describe this narrator’s view of Sandra, The Trauma Cleaner is compassion. To understand and forgive anything and everything about your fellow human requires a glimpse back into what made them who they are in the present. Sandra is anything and everything BUT what she appears to be and therefore is the perfect trauma cleaner, treating each client’s situation with understanding and is never judgmental. Her antidote for trauma is a little bit of love and a lot of order. I am so intrigued by the mental deterioration that causes people to hold onto things, in fact to have their external surroundings mirror their internal chaos. This book hit me at a very tender spot and filled me with compassion for all the people I’ve loved whose homes have mirrored their internal chaos, it also shone a light on why I insist on order to a fault, why I attempt to control my environment and refuse to hold onto everything. A perverse companion read to Marie Kondo haha.
About Trauma Cleaner
Husband, father, drag queen, sex worker, wife. Sarah Krasnostein’s The Trauma Cleaner is a love letter to an extraordinary ordinary life. In Sandra Pankhurst she discovered a woman capable of taking a lifetime of hostility and transphobic abuse and using it to care for some of society’s most in-need people.
Sandra Pankhurst founded her trauma cleaning business to help people whose emotional scars are written on their houses. From the forgotten flat of a drug addict to the infested home of a hoarder, Sandra enters properties and lives at the same time. But few of the people she looks after know anything of the complexity of Sandra’s own life. Raised in an uncaring home, Sandra’s miraculous gift for warmth and humour in the face of unspeakable personal tragedy mark her out as a one-off.
Disclosure: If you purchase a book through one of these links, I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you, which I will donate to literary organizations in Boston. Thanks!