The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in the Business of Death, Decay, and Disaster by Sarah Krasnostein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have two reactions to this story – the first being totally in awe of Sandra. Her amazing understanding and depth of compassion for everyone she meets, her incredible life-story, and her strength are just astounding to read about. The jobs she takes on, the people she meets and helps through her work – all so interesting. I would have loved to read about a meth lad clean-up, and also the mechanics behind her police contracts for her services, but the details of the jobs in the book were fascinating.
The second reaction I have is to the writing itself, which I found frustrating and difficult to read at times. A lot of terrible similes, and a lot of excuses for behaviour Sandra exhibited that didn’t fit with the author’s golden view of her subject. The worst one I can remember, involved Sandra standing in a room on a job, and being compared to one of Monet’s golden haystacks in her beauty – there were just so many comments like this.
At the beginning the author says that this is her version of a love letter for Sandra – and that made it easier to read those passages, and obviously Sandra is such a wonderfully complex person it was worth reading anyway.
A great story. I’m happy that there are people out there like Sandra who will take on these jobs, and bring the people who need help in that way a human response to their troubles.
3 thoughts on “The Trauma Cleaner”
Great review! I liked this book too but it was problematic for the reasons you describe so well.
It became hard to read in some places – yet the subject was so wonderful!