Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Review: Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive by Stephanie Land

Title: Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive
Author: Stephanie Land 
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Hachette Books
Publish Date: January 22, 2019
Source: Library

What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "While the gap between upper middle-class Americans and the working poor widens, grueling low-wage domestic and service work--primarily done by women--fuels the economic success of the wealthy. Stephanie Land worked for years as a maid, pulling long hours while struggling as a single mom to keep a roof over her daughter's head. In Maid, she reveals the dark truth of what it takes to survive and thrive in today's inequitable society.

While she worked hard to scratch her way out of poverty as a single parent, scrubbing the toilets of the wealthy, navigating domestic labor jobs, higher education, assisted housing, and a tangled web of government assistance, Stephanie wrote. She wrote the true stories that weren't being told. The stories of overworked and underpaid Americans."

My Two Cents:

"Maid" is a memoir by Stephanie Land. It's about her life trying to make her way on minimum wage jobs, specifically as a maid. This is an eye-opening memoir about how hard it is to get by on a minimum wage job. There have been a lot of books that have come out recently that have tried to shed light on the plight of so many Americans that are trying to hold down a few jobs just to get by. Barbara Ehrenreich's "Nickel and Dimed" comes to mind and Ehrenreich actually wrote the foreword to this book. While this book was interesting, I wish it had been tied together a little more tightly in the end.

We get to see how difficult things are for Stephanie as she tries to take care of her young daughter. Childcare alone is incredibly daunting in this country but Stephanie has to worry a lot more about other things like bills and food. She has to navigate a bunch of confusing government subsidies in order to make ends meet. The companies that she works for seem to worry more about the labor than the actual people that work for them a lot of times. 

This book is very much a personal memoir about one single person's plight. It is powerful but feels simply anecdotal. What I mean by that is that it seems to be one person's experience and I wish that it would have had a higher-level connection or a more universal message. Maybe it is a lot to ask about what to do but I was hoping for something more prescriptive with the connection to "Nickel and Dimed." I liked this book but wanted a little more!

1 comment:

  1. Isa this one on my library shelves recently but, yours is the first review. Thanks for sharing - so sad how some must struggle everyday.


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