How many bodies does it take to jump-start the recovery of Elaine, the Hoarder? “It depends,” says Joan Freed, the rebel life coach, “on the variables, like which corpse - if any - is the cause of the hoarding.” This spiraling, hoarding, self-help mystery starts at Oak Flats Campground - east of Phoenix, Arizona. It quickly moves to Wellton - east of Yuma - where Joan is greeted by Elaine, a gray haired dumpling of a woman, and several years of saving "stuff" spread over 20 acres.
From the antique road graders to the mazes of tarped sheer mountains to the stacks of cardboard box lined narrow walkways, Elaine lives in one room - the kitchen. There she bakes her scones, compiles her puzzles - crosswords and word searches - and defends her need to continue being a collector.
While Joan is immediately slammed in the face with olfactory overload - a stench she's never before encountered - she fears she's gotten herself into - besides a client with a really bad sinus infection and even more very puzzling people - more than even she can handle.
Who abandoned who? Can the source of Elaine's grief be identified and turned into good grief before Joan is forced to escape in self defense?