The Hoarder’s Wife

A Novel

Fiction - Literary
291 Pages
Reviewed on 08/30/2022
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Author Biography

Following a 35-year marriage to a hoarder, Deborah S. Greenhut completed this novel based on her own experiences. Deborah is a prize-winning poet and playwright who contributes travel writing and reviews on She is a graduate of Middlebury College and holds a PhD in English from Rutgers University where she directed the Cook/Douglass Writing Center. She has served as Associate Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Hudson County Community College and has worked as a literacy education and curriculum consultant in addition to corporate communications consulting.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

The Hoarder’s Wife: A Novel by Deborah Greenhut is the painful, sometimes dramatic story of Grace Berg who lost herself and her purpose in life while being a wife. Grace was married to Professor Ludwig “Luddy” Berg for 35 years. While Grace gave up her love for music to become the best wife and a mother to her sons Simon and Jake, Luddy was a hoarder. As he hoarded, Grace got things out of their house before it became too much. After being divorced at sixty, Grace took time to explore music and fell in love with it once again. Things turned for the worse when Luddy committed suicide, and that took Grace back into the life where she was the hoarder’s wife. As she started to clean out the house once more, Grace came across her journal from years ago, and she revisited her life to understand why she had lost herself when she became a wife.

A solid story with an outstanding cast of characters. Deborah Greenhut wrote a beautiful tale of self-discovery in The Hoarder's Wife. Tender, nostalgic and exceptional in every aspect, I loved the story and how Grace’s life unfolded. Not every marriage is perfect, and no, not every marriage can be saved by just one partner making the effort. Grace struggled hard to make her marriage to Luddy work, but with the severity of his pathology, he needed help, and Grace was not the best person to do that. I loved how each chapter was named after a musical movement. I had no idea what each name meant until I looked them up online and was very excited to make the discovery. It was often painful to read this book, especially when Grace had to confront her past to reconcile with her present. The descriptions were so vivid that I was transported into Grace’s life and experienced her regrets, her triumphs, and overwhelming feelings. I highly recommend this novel!

Mikaela Kafka

I concur!!! One of the best reads I have had in a while. Your views on love, marriage, and self worth are challenged in this all.too real novel. I loved it and highly recommend!