➸ Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive Free ➮ Author Stephanie Land – 1sm.info

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive Evicted Meets Nickel And Dimed In Stephanie Land S Memoir About Working As A Maid, A Beautiful And Gritty Exploration Of Poverty In America Includes A Foreword By Barbara Ehrenreich My Daughter Learned To Walk In A Homeless Shelter 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.Written In Honest, Heart Rending Prose And With Great Insight, Maid Explores The Underbelly Of Upper Middle Class America And The Reality Of What It S Like To Be In Service To Them I D Become A Nameless Ghost, Stephanie Writes With This Book, She Gives Voice To The Servant Worker, Those Who Fight Daily To Scramble And Scrape By For Their Own Lives And The Lives Of Their Children. In Maid Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother s Will to Survive, we meet Stephanie Land, a single mom to her daughter, Mia, trying to keep a roof over their heads and maintain some form of stable life This is easier said than done as Stephanie is met with numerous challenges including little support from her family, Mia s father, and other relationships, as well as multiple jobs with low paying wages that rarely allow those performing them to get ahead A few years ago I read Evicted, which I really enjoyed despite numerous difficult subjects throughout the book In some ways Maid reminded me of Evicted Though Evicted is of a culture study and well researched, Stephanie shared some of the struggles referenced in that book Maid is a mix between Stephanie s own challenges and observations in her work, of the lives of the residents whose houses she cleaned It wasn t difficult to follow, I just wasn t sure what direction this was headed in for awhile It was almost as if there were 2 separate stories in this one book I felt anxious for Stephanie in her current circumstances How would she be able to survive another financial blow How could she only take 6 home from a cleaning job that her employing company charged 25 for How could Mia be sick again, and why isn t she getting any better If Stephanie made 50 a month, she could lose her government assisted funding so, what was the point of trying to get ahead It was stressful to read about these numerous struggles Yes, stressful for me, as a removed, third party reader so I can t imagine the stress Stephanie felt, living it It s often easy to criticize a situation and note what you would do and how you would handle things differently, but in this case, I didn t feel this way to the extent I have with other memoirs I ve previously read Stephanie made some questionable decisions but I appreciated that she acknowledged many them for example, staying in a relationship too long because she enjoyed the idea of it, though she knew it was already over rather than denying them, or seeking sympathy because of the consequences of those choices Maid is an interesting story and a reminder of the struggles many people face today While it wasn t my favorite memoir, overall, I enjoyed reading it I admire the determination Stephanie maintained and hard work she put in, in order to create a better life for herself and for her daughter Thank you to NetGalley and Hatchette Books for providing a copy of Maid in exchange for an honest review. This book is going to garner a range of reactions when it s published What this book does well is illuminate the struggles of poverty and single motherhood, the unrelenting frustration of having no safety net, the ways in which our society is systemically designed to keep impoverished people mired in poverty, the indignity of poverty by way of unmovable bureaucracy, and people s lousy attitudes toward poor people When she writes about her circumstances, Land s prose is vivid and engaging Her hopelessness, during this time in her life is palpable But it is strange that the publicity materials compare this book to a book like Evicted This is a tightly focused, well written memoir, a good book, but it is not a deeply researched book about poverty This is a book about temporary poverty and it is part of a canon where the goal is to reach the middle class There s nothing wrong with that Where I struggled with this book, was the lack of acknowledgment of white privilege and how that made the arc of her narrative possible, save for a cursory moment where the author acknowledges the challenges immigrants might face that she did not I also wish the scope of this book was wider I wasn t sure of the chronology of a lot of the book, and I would have loved to get a stronger sense of her relationships with other people I suspect the writer was maintaining personal boundaries in what I perceived as absences but still, I did want to see human connection, either good or bad Fortunately, a book does not need to be everything to everyone Whatever this book s shortcomings are, it is still an incredibly worthwhile read. Hooooooooo boy was this one frustrating I almost gave up multiple times because it made me so angry, but let s just start at the beginning I got this from Book of the Month On their description it wasn t exactly clear that this was a nonfiction read they may have changed it since So I had VERY different expectations upon opening this book up and was very disappointed to see that it was not fiction But, hey, I m cool, I like nonfiction and so I set that all aside and figured it would still be a good read No.No, it was not.The author spends very little time actually talking about her time as a maid And when I say that I mean that she TALKS about cleaning, sure, and she talks about the houses she goes to and she will briefly mention the people she cleans up after and how many times she lays down and cries in their tub But as far as a deep, tell all introspective look at her clients life that reflects the differences in her her own life which is how this book was presented as on Book of the Month is so far off base that it s almost hilarious Let me sum up the book for you It is a mishmash wheelhouse of the following words mold, crying, black mold, sinus infection, slimy mold, wet eyes, tears, sobbing, infectious mold, unstoppable crying and Black Mold with capital letters And to top it off, the author repeatedly tells the same story multiple times, but often in different orders I.E she talks about how she pulled her back moving a couch and couldn t move out of her boyfriends house Then later she talks about how she pulled her back moving the same couch and couldn t do whatever it was Maybe she pulled it twice Maybe it was different times I don t know It just seems odd.I hate to rag on someones unfortunate life experiences, but I have to say that author made me feel zero sympathy for her I wasn t rooting for her to succeed as she very much seemed to continually put herself in terrible situations There s the obvious examples, looking for awful men she shacks up with and tries to get to solve her situation, family drama etc, but the one that got to me was this she receives 4,000 back from taxes Woohoo She s continually been told from multiple doctors and specialists that she needs to find a better apartment as her daughter suffers from recurring sinus infections because of BLACK MOLD But what does the author do with her extra fortune Does she put first and last s rent on a new place Does she possibly go and talk to the landlord and say he s violating rules and she will move out now that she could afford to No She puts some towards bills, the car, etc and then she buys herself a diamond wedding ring because she always wanted it and she s realized she has to commit to herself as there ain t no man who can pull her out of this situation Wut Far be it from me to tell someone how to spend their money Not my business, but you don t get to write a whole book about how awful, terrible and stinky your life is if at the first sign of the tides turning you buy unnecessary junk If I had to pinpoint exactly what I hated about this book and the thing that really rubbed me the wrong way it is how the author makes sure to take every opportunity to tell EVERYONE around her how bad her life is as if wanting them to fix it while not doing a whole lot herself I can t afford a new apartment Have you looked, Stephanie Well, no, but life is so HARD And there s MOLD Plenty of people offer to help her out along the way but somehow she believes she is better than them or whatever it is they are offering and won t accept it unless it s on her terms She won t go to food banks because she thinks there are people worse off than her who should use it She won t use food stamps or take clothes from the church because she s embarrassed of what people will think at the grocery store She s always making up little scenarios about how this person was definitely staring at her ratty jeans and was probably thinking what a terrible mother she is Or boy wouldn t it be nice to have a diaper bag and a husband to hold hands with But instead here I am sitting on the grass drinking watered down coffee with my daughter who is wearing the same shirt as yesterday and boy life sucks so hard Good lord she was exhausting Nothing really happens in the book She works as a maid, she moves around a bit, she earns money, looses money and then moves to Montana because she always wanted to go to school there I don t know I m out of words to describe this book There s nothing of any real substance here I m sorry she had a terrible time in life I m happy she s doing well now Congrats on the book, I guess I think it would ve made a fantastic fiction book that was based on real life events instead of a memoir But as it is, I m reluctantly giving this book just one star. Stephanie Land didn t experience the best start in life, well not when it comes down to the most important thing for a child love Neither parent seemed to have much of it to give, in fact they present themselves as extremely selfish individuals Stephanie finds herself pregnant and in an abusive relationship, which should herald the end of her dreams of going to college, but this is one thing that she will try desperately to hang onto.We accompany Stephanie and her daughter Mia, as they attempt to overcome the many trials and tribulations that come with being caught up in the poverty trap The rules imposed on people in their position appear to be designed to keep them there Life for Stephanie is really tough it s a round of long hours of physically hard work as a maid, cleaning the homes of the wealthy, whilst receiving low pay in return, and she still tries to include some study time in the hopes of a better future In addition, Mia is a sickly child who s illnesses are compounded by the poor living conditions that they have to endure There s also the indignities that Stephanie experiences when using food stamps in the grocery store on one occasion the man behind her in the queue remarks loudly enough so that everyone can hear You re welcome the implication being that he personally has paid for the food by paying his taxes Little did he know just how hard Stephanie had to work to simply hang onto what little she had the old car that was essential to enable her to get to clients homes, the glass walled studio apartment overlooking the freeway, which was freezing cold and black with mould in winter, and then turned into a greenhouse in the summer, and she could barely afford even that But most of all it was Mia that made the hard work not only essential, but worth it, as Stephanie battled against ex partner Jamie s constant threats to apply for custody of Mia every time something went wrong in her life.There s no doubt that Stephanie did initially make some poor choices in life, though she soon discovers that freedom of choice is a privilege granted only to those with financial security but it would be wrong of me to suggest that everything that happens to her was entirely her fault it wasn t Once you re in a cycle of poverty, it s really really difficult to get out of it There were moments when she couldn t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but her love for Mia just pushes her that extra yard to aspire to those goals that she thought were lost forever.I do feel that some areas of Stephanie s personal life were skimmed over in favour of descriptions of clients homes Just one instance of this was when a male friend lent her a car, it turned out that she d been seeing him on and off for some time, but this was the first and only mention of him However, this was an enlightening memoir with regard to the human face of poverty the one behind the government s statistics Thank you to Netgalley and Orion Publishing Group, Trapeze for my ARC I have given an honest unbiased review in exchange

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