REVIEW: MAID, BY STEPHANIE LAND

At 28, Stephanie Land’s dreams of attending a university and becoming a writer quickly dissolved when a summer fling turned into an unplanned pregnancy. Before long, she found herself a single mother, scraping by as a housekeeper to make ends meet.

Maid is an emotionally raw, masterful account of Stephanie’s years spent in service to upper middle class America as a “nameless ghost” who quietly shared in her clients’ triumphs, tragedies, and deepest secrets. Driven to carve out a better life for her family, she cleaned by day and took online classes by night, writing relentlessly as she worked toward earning a college degree. She wrote of the true stories that weren’t being told: of living on food stamps and WIC coupons, of government programs that barely provided housing, of aloof government employees who shamed her for receiving what little assistance she did. Above all else, she wrote about pursuing the myth of the American Dream from the poverty line, all the while slashing through deep-rooted stigmas of the working poor.

Maid is Stephanie’s story, but it’s not hers alone. It is an inspiring testament to the courage, determination, and ultimate strength of the human spirit.

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From the very first pages of Maid, I felt a connection to the author as she openly described her journey as a single mother faced with so many challenges that I couldn’t stop rooting for her.

In the end, she did make it to the end of her journey to become a writer through this tale of those struggles with the system that seemed designed to keep her in poverty, unable to move up the ladder.

Having worked with women trying to find their way up that ladder, I could relate to Stephanie and her experiences. Domestic violence is a theme in her story, just as we also could see how her fight against the system seemed determined to keep her down.

I enjoyed her detailed stories of how cleaning houses inspired her and even spurred her on by her dreams of another kind of life. A life she eventually found. 5 stars. .#2021ReadNonFic

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