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Book Review: Clean Sweep by E.B. Lee #TheWriteReads #BlogTour

My dear bookish friends!

Are you looking for an eye-opening, deep and emotional read that will also entertain you? Then I might just have the book for you! A big thank you as always to TheWriteReads and the author for my spot on the blog tour, as well as my ecopy of the book! (None of this influenced my review in any way.) Please read on to find out what Clean Sweep is about, and for my detailed review!

The Blurb

WHEN A SIDEWALK IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Carli Morris is looking forward to a quiet retirement after the blockbuster sale of her Madison Avenue ad agency. The heartbreaking discovery of a homeless woman poisoned to death on a Manhattan sidewalk causes a change of plans and reopens the wounds of Carli’s own tragic loss.
Carli throws herself on a mission to get the vulnerable off the streets. But as she sacrifices her own needs to support others, her new colleague’s mental illness and Carli’s unresolved grief collide in a staggering sequence of events that will alter her life forever
Clean Sweep is a dynamic literary novel that tackles the tough questions of homelessness, poverty, mental illness, and addiction. If you like moving revelations, gut-wrenching decisions, and life-affirming transformations, then you’ll love E. B. Lee’s enlightening tale.

My Review

Clean Sweep is an eye-opening, deep, and emotional novel. Covering important but also tough topics, it may not be a happy sunshine and rainbows kind of book, but reading it will definitely make you feel enriched.

Carli, a retired entrepreneur, starts helping out in the soup kitchen to add meaning to her life and help the people on the streets. In no way did she ever believe her new retirement hobby would turn into such a life-changing occupation. What she was actually envisioning for herself was going after her life-long artistic passion. I loved the descriptions of her painting, it was a stark contrast to the cold and dreary New York winter setting, seeing her make beaches and the oceans come to life on the canvas.

One of the first cases Carli helps with in the homeless care program is a shocking one: a woman found dead in her tent on the streets. A shocking coincidence, but surely not an exception among homeless people, especially in winter. Carli lost her own brother at an early age and doesn’t know what happened to him – was he kidnapped? Did he become part of a cult? Did he die? Not knowing the answer to that still weighs heavy on her heart, so Carli wants to dedicate her time to other lost souls like him.

During her volunteer work she meets Grant, a pastor, who has worked with the homeless people of New York for so long, and is looking forward to have Carli on his team. After all, some women among the homeless have a hard time trusting him or taking his help, so another female worker might help with that.

Carli and Grant are both great characters, and I really enjoyed reading about their personal developments. Carli, so caring, selfless and giving, was an inspiration. Grant is taking her under his wing, and he is just as caring as he is mysterious!

I really liked the twists and turns, the mysteries and secrets that were woven throughout the story and slowly unraveled little by little. Some were easier to guess than others, but I was still always invested in the story and wanted to read on.

The book is not ‘preachy’ at all, but the programm Carli is working for is by the church, and the story itself is full of ‘Sisters’ and ‘pastors‘ (like Grant). I wouldn’t like preachy stories at all, but this didn’t feel like one, so I was comfortable to read on.

I think a second round of editing and proofreading would have done it good – a few little punctuation errors here and there and maybe some differently placed words in some occassions, but overall nothing that would disrupt the reading. I just cannot help taking my (metaphorical) editing lenses off while reading, lol!

All in all, Clean Sweep is an honest, emotional and deep novel that touches the heart as it deals with the things that are seldom talked about, but do exist in our society and everyday lives. We are all probably just too preoccupied to see them sometimes. It is raw, real, and will not let you go for a while. Reading about homelessness, the powerlessness those people on the corners of our society must feel day in and day out, the dangers and fears they must live through, all that was palpable here. But that is not all. The novel also deals with grief and mental illness, but manages to do so without feeling too bleak and dreary.

Clean Sweep is eye-opening, and I’m glad I read it. I hope there will be more to come by the author!

4 stars from me⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you all so much for reading, and do let me know if you will pick up Clean Sweep!

xoxo

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