Stephanie Land's memoir Maid has been on dozens of book lists, so you may have heard of or read it already. All the hype? Absolutely deserved - it was a powerful, eye opening read.
But, if you haven't heard of it, the publisher's blurb is a pretty concise descriptor:
"Evicted meets Nickel and Dimed in Stephanie Land’s memoir about working as a maid, a beautiful and gritty exploration of poverty in America."
Having read both of those books, I knew this was one I wanted to read. Star studded tell-alls are of no interest to me. Instead I find myself invariably drawn to memoirs of everyday people. The struggles and the triumphs- real life.
Land finds herself pregnant just as she is about to apply to university to follow her dream of becoming a writer. That dream is sidetracked and Land ends up working as a maid to support her daughter.
Her struggles - financially, medically, mentally and physically - are captured in brutally honest prose. The reader is alongside as she navigates 'the system', her relationships and the anonymity of cleaning houses. But, just as affecting is the love she has for her daughter and her desire to follow her dream of becoming a writer.
Land's work made for addictive reading and is a testament to her tenacity. While she may have made choices that I would not have, I'm not here to judge. There is no way to 'rate' someone's life, but if pressed, I would give Maid is a five star read for Land's honesty is sharing her life story so far. See for yourself - here's an excerpt of Maid.