Trash: An Innocent Girl. A Shocking Story of Squalor and Neglect

by Britney Fuller

Read time: about 4 minutes

There are some books that you come across which make you realize how different our world is from few others and theirs from few others more. I came across this book on net galley and it is about a girl who has always been surrounded by trash. Not because she does not have a place to live in, neither because she does not have a family but because her mother was a trash hoarder. Which she happens to realize later in life. Needless to say it caught my attention and I started reading it right away. This is definitely one of the best books that I have read this year. And I am sure you will feel so too after reading it.

Trash: An Innocent Girl. A Shocking Story of Squalor and Neglect  by Britney Fuller


The cover art of the book is simple and not nonsense kind. It is well composed and draws attention. The girl in the cover is definitely the author. I wish the designers has taken her character sketch and made the girl in the cover look similar. The book describes the author as plump child, which is not seen on the cover. Someone who finishes reading the book would definitely notice this.


The book is about a young girl named Britney Fuller and her life with her mother, Gene Fuller. Britney has seen trash all around the house since the time she remembers. She is a young innocent child who does not realize why people do not like to stay over at her place and why other kids ignore her until she turns eight.

Gene Fuller is a chef at a hospital. She is also a trash hoarder. She refuses to throw anything in the trash bin fearing it may be important for her.

Both the lead characters are described very well. There are other characters in the book. There is Adam, Britney’s boy-friend and his family. There is Nancy, Britney’s best friend who has always been by her side.


The book is a first-hand account of Britney’s life when she was living in her house full of trash and how she finally escaped it. The story begins when Britney is getting ready to go to school but cannot find the other shoe in the pair. She fears her mother’s spanking and tries to find the other shoe among the pile of junk lying all around her. The description of the house itself is awful enough to make it hate it instantly.

There are plenty of instances in the book where Britney hates her mom and then again falls back in love with her. But she finally decides to put an end to all this and move out.

I did some reading on the habit of hoarding and came to realize that it can be as light as a habit and as serious as a syndrome.

The kids growing up in these habitats suffer from serious diseases and sometimes succumb to death.

It is a beautiful concept. To get intimate with a girl who tells you about her life in the house full of trash. The narration is the cherry on the cake.


The book is written in first person by the author. The language is very simple but engaging. The author is a good story-teller. She tells you the story as she remembers it. There are few repetitive words in the book, such as “eyes like saucer”. But it does not alter the flow of the book.

Good points

The book is no doubt an excellent read. The characters are taken out from real life which makes you wish that you could close your eyes on the world. Sadly, it is the truth of many houses in many countries in the world.

Bad points

The cover-page could have been designed with more care I believe. Where the composition is impeccable, the accuracy in the character-sketch could have been kept in mind too.


The story is overwhelming. The book had a severe impact on me as a reader. This book promises you that you will strive to keep your surroundings clean after reading this book. Must-read hands down!

Quotable Quotes

I bit my lip but I couldn’t stop myself from crying as I shoved my drawings in the trash bag. She doesn’t care about me. Grandma and Aunt Maxine keep pictures on the wall. Mom just lets my stuff get ruined. My special creations are nothing more than trash.

I turned, and looked around back at the mess in the bathroom. I couldn’t leave it like that. Even if it meant I was going to be late, I had to clean it up. I’m never going to be like my mom.

Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH