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Maid

Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive
Narrateur(s): Stephanie Land
Durée: 8 h et 34 min
4.5 out of 5 stars (43 évaluations)

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Description

At 28, Stephanie Land's plans of breaking free from the roots of her hometown in the Pacific Northwest to chase her dreams of attending a university and becoming a writer were cut short when a summer fling turned into an unexpected pregnancy. She turned to housekeeping to make ends meet, and with a tenacious grip on her dream to provide her daughter the very best life possible, Stephanie worked days and took classes online to earn a college degree, and began to write relentlessly. She wrote the true stories that weren't being told: the stories of overworked and underpaid Americans. Of living on food stamps and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) coupons to eat. Of the government programs that provided her housing, but that doubled as halfway houses. The aloof government employees who called her lucky for receiving assistance while she didn't feel lucky at all. She wrote to remember the fight, to eventually cut through the deep-rooted stigmas of the working poor. 

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 about her relationship with her clients, many of whom do not know her from any other cleaner, but who she learns plenty about. As she begins to discover more about her clients' lives - their sadness and love, too - she begins to find hope in her own path. 

Her compassionate, unflinching writing as a journalist gives voice to the "servant" worker, and those pursuing the American Dream from below the poverty line. Maid is Stephanie's story, but it's not her alone. It is an inspiring testament to the strength, determination, and ultimate triumph of the human spirit.

©2019 Stephanie Land (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Ce que les critiques en disent

"[Maid is a] heartfelt and powerful debut memoir.... Land's love for her daughter...shines brightly through the pages of this beautiful, uplifting story of resilience and survival." (Publishers Weekly)

"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... Land's prose is vivid and engaging... [A] tightly-focused, well-written memoir... an incredibly worthwhile read." (Roxane Gay, New York Times best-selling author of Bad Feminist and Hunger: A Memoir)

"For readers who believe individuals living below the poverty line are lazy and/or intellectually challenged, this memoir is a stark, necessary corrective.... [T]he narrative also offers a powerful argument for increasing government benefits for the working poor during an era when most benefits are being slashed.... An important memoir that should be required reading for anyone who has never struggled with poverty." (Kirkus Reviews)

Ce que les membres d'Audible en pensent

Moyenne des évaluations de clients

Au global

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Évaluations – Cliquez sur les onglets pour changer la source des évaluations.

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  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars

Great read

This book is worth a read. The book outlined the struggles of a single mother fighting to raise her daughter through low wages and tough times. Would recommend.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars

a great read

a great read. difficult in parts, but only due to the nature of the struggles she was enduring.
I would have liked to hear more about Mia's father situation and ultimately where Stephanie ended up.
I hope she follows up with another book after this one.

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  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • NMwritergal
  • Albuquerque, NM
  • 2019-01-24

Very engaging

I downloaded this the day it came out on the basis of the synopsis. I had no idea that there was a lot of buzz about this book. So in the midst of a killer migraine, I listened straight through and it more than held my attention.

As I often do with books I really like or loathe, I read the reviews afterward. I was surprised at all the judgment a bunch of white women heaped upon her--not the book, but the author. Even the ones who wrote good reviews were judgmental. "poor choices" was mentioned quite often. Her first "poor choice" was to get pregnant and not have an abortion. Ok, not the choice I would make but understandable that she wanted to have the baby. I found all her choices understandable. All the judgment and outrage in the reviews came mostly from white women who I have to assume have never experienced poverty because if they had, I doubt they'd be crucifying Land for the things she did to survive and feed her kid.

Information not in the book showed up in the reviews. I did feel some gaps in the book and wondered why Land didn't leave those parts out if she wasn't going to elaborate. As a result, she left the reader hanging in places.

My two favorite dumb comments: If she was so poor, how could she afford tattoos? Maybe she got them before? The other (frequent comment) was that the book was confusing. Was it about being a single mother living in poverty or was it about being a maid? Uh...both. That's what she did to pay the bills.

I thought Land did an excellent job illustrating how hard it is to be poor and how the system keeps you there, e.g, she tries to make more money (while going to college) by working more but she earns a couple bucks too much and loses her day care subsidy. You can't climb out of poverty slowly by increasing your earnings bit by bit, you have to make a jump (somehow) by making next to nothing to making 40 or 50 grand a year (if you have a kid you're trying to support).

There are other books that show how the system keeps people in poverty better by providing more details (Linda Tirado--Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America is one book that comes to mind) but as a memoir, this one was quite good. The last thing I'd say is this: contrary to the synopsis Maid is NOT like Evicted (one of the best, but he's a journalist and a lot of research went into that) or Nickel and Dimed (another great book, but a journalist going under cover is not the same as living in poverty 24/7). So if that's what you're looking for, Maid is not it. Maid is a memoir about one woman's life--an interesting life.

62 personnes sur 67 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Leslie Lang
  • 2019-01-23

Amazing

This is a moving, insightful, and well-told story. Stephanie is rather like J.K.Rowling, it occurs to me, in that she pulled herself up out of really difficult circumstances because she knew she had something important inside her and actually had the grit to make it (her writing) happen. More power to her! I highly recommend this book.

20 personnes sur 21 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • Rochester, NY United States
  • 2019-02-16

The most over-hyped book ever

Still scratching my head over the popularity of this book. I felt like I listened to a book-length pity party by an author who is particularly unlikable. And a horrible mother as well. For instance, her daughter is in such poor health a doctor admonishes her to do better. So when she gets a $4000 tax refund, she buys herself a diamond ring instead of improving her daughter’s living conditions. She tells us she fears for her daughter’s well-being when she is with her father, yet she repeatedly demands he take her when she needs a sitter. She has a huge chip on her shoulder and suspects everyone of victimizing her. She was born into privilege, but has managed to alienate her entire family. And the most irritating thing is she has a total lack of self-awareness. Don’t bother listening to this book. It’s not about what it’s like to be a maid, it’s about how to blame other’s for your own ineptitude.

38 personnes sur 48 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Ashley
  • 2019-02-05

Disappointed

Stephanie land’s writing is descriptive, well spoken and talented. However, I was so disappointed in her attitude, her decisions and lack of more personal responsibility. She whined way too much and I expected more information on how social services and its processes effect so many people.

15 personnes sur 19 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Sue
  • 2019-02-17

Whiny and Unlikable

I couldn’t finish this book and returned it for a refund after a few hours. The author comes across as whiny and is impossible to like. She complains about having to clean pubic hairs off toilets, but then admits to snooping through personal items like prescriptions and receipts. She claims that judgement over her use of WIC and EBT was rampant, but also admits to being unable to read her vouchers and follow simple instructions. As a former WIC recipient I can tell you that it’s not that hard to read what the coupon is for and pick up the correct item. I stopped listening entirely when she complained that WIC no longer covered organic milk.

18 personnes sur 23 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 2019-06-13

Life isn’t easy

Stephanie land is a fine writer. Her story was interesting. I understand the indignity of being poor and going without. What I don’t understand is the humiliation of doing service work. Work is work. No one is above doing what it takes to support our children. I’m surprised at the anger at the system that aided her, the humiliation she felt by cleaning and the attitude that she wasn’t responsible for the decisions that placed her in that position. Many do much better with much less without complaint.

2 personnes sur 2 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Barb B
  • 2019-03-31

Attitude is Everything

I bought this book because I thought I could relate to the author. I also raised my son on my own by cleaning homes. I loved the satisfying work I did for customers who always became friends. This author is just a crybaby! All of her problems - from single parenthood to working a job she "hates" - she brought on herself! She does NOT know how to professionally clean! She made everything hard on herself , then used that sad, stupid excuse for things not going her way. "It's not my fault." "I had no choice." Poor me! She couldn't get by with working and being on no less than NINE government assisted programs! Give me a break! I earned enough money cleaning houses that I didn't get any help from the government and I wouldn't have had it any other way! This girl needs an attitude adjustment. Be grateful for once. When a friend borrowed her a car after hers was wrecked in a crash, she barely mentioned being grateful for having a way to work, etc. I would love a book contract so I could let readers see how a single mother cleaning homes lived a fully enjoyable, thankful life. It's all about attitude!

14 personnes sur 18 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amanda May
  • 2019-02-20

Very Disappointed

This book was painful! The author complains incessantly and does not seem to have any perspective or emotional maturity. Total victim. I rarely write a negative review but I found so little to enjoy in this book that I could not finish it!

14 personnes sur 18 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • SailingTs
  • NJ, USA
  • 2019-02-12

Too Many Contradictions and Half Truths

I wanted to like this book. The author can sometimes describe the difficulty of the various governmental aid programs. I mostly liked the parts where she judged her clients. I always wanted to look into people's homes.

What really turned me off were the inconsistencies. The author makes some poor choices, but she never seems to admit it. She often seems to find a decent landing place, but then leaves to pursue her dream of Montana. She talks about a horrible person her ex is, but will leave her daughter with him for a week, "to finish up the semester." Meanwhile she will claim her daughter is left on the ex's boat with only random men around her. If she left her ex due to an abusive relationship, why would she have her daughter spend extra time with someone like that?

I hate to judge, but she spends the whole book judging others. If you read her articles, there are many contradictions to what is in the book. Even the happy ending appears false as she continues to write about her plight.

This is the type of person that when you read all her stories, you realize she is not giving you an honest piece of writing, but using the written word to justify her questionable decisions and blame the consequences on others. It seems she has so many people that have helped her, yet she only focuses on the negative aspects of those relationships.

Lastly, her California up-speak voice sounds entitled. Especially when you realize you are not getting the full story. Bad story and a bad listen.

8 personnes sur 10 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente

  • Au global
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    1 out of 5 stars
  • S Frederickson
  • 2019-02-18

Pity Party for 1 Please!

I was so disappointed in this book. I had such high hopes for a story of perseverance, hard work and struggle to come out on the other side, but was left feeling empty. Stephanie chose to have a child at 28, while working as a waitress, with a man she knew for 4 months. She continually labels her daughter's father as abusive but other than site their different arguments and back-and-forth name calling, I felt as if she really didn't know him at all, clearly, and they couldn't ever get along. He was still her daughter's father and from what I could tell, he really did want a place in his daughter's life.

Other things I just couldn't get past: She spewed hate for her clients that smoked but she smoked herself. She spent part of her $4,000 tax refund on a diamond ring instead of looking into a new place to live for she and her daughter while her daughter continued to get sick from the black mold growing in their apartment. She committed insurance fraud after getting into a car accident and whined about the fact that she couldn't buy organic milk for her daughter anymore on the WIC program. She complained about dropping her daughter off at daycare when her daughter was sick and not being able to stay home with her but did nothing to look into getting a different job that afforded her the time she did want to spend with her daughter.

Overall, Stephanie's view of life and those around her is not realistic. I thought she would have taken all of the hardship in her life and learned from it, turning it into good. Nope- she didn't. She had another child with a different man. Then, split from him. Then, got married to someone different who tried to kill her. Newsflash Stephanie - get some counseling, girl. You have children that you should actually worry about, not just your narcissistic self.

10 personnes sur 13 ont trouvé cette évaluation pertinente