Maid - Stephanie Land & Barbara Ehrenreich


By Stephanie Land & Barbara Ehrenreich

  • Release Date: 2019-01-22
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
4 Score: 4 (From 852 Ratings)


"A single mother's personal, unflinching look at America's class divide (Barack Obama)," this New York Times bestselling memoir is the inspiration for the Netflix limited series, hailed by Rolling Stone as "a great one."    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.

"A single mother's personal, unflinching look at America's class divide, a description of the tightrope many families walk just to get by, and a reminder of the dignity of all work." -PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, Obama's Summer Reading List


  • Excellent and insightful

    By susannahermana
    Should be required reading in all high schools
  • A success story

    By jgb101365
    A success story about a young mom’s determination and fight to provide for her child and make a better life for them on her own. A harsh lesson to those who judge and criticize people purchasing food with government resources. Think before you speak and be kind!
  • Ok, but lacked compelling storytelling

    By S. Merrell
    It was ok. Her story is inspiring, no doubt about it. It gave me empathy for those in poverty. But I think it was how the story was told/written. Parts were repetitive and it lacked a much development or anticipation. At times I found it hard to keep reading. It felt monotonous at times. I would have liked to have learned how she ultimately got through college and escaped poverty and had a better life, but it never got to that point.
  • A page turner

    By Gorilla123456789
    I couldn’t put this book down. It was absolutely beautifully written, heartbreaking and funny. I love her story, her resilience, how hard she fought for a better future for herself and her daughter. This book makes me want to write my own life story one day.
  • Touched on so many issues

    By Kurlyy1
    Emotional abuse was the main issue, but also parents with mental health issues, a bit of alcoholism, a bit of hoarding, depression, and how hard it is to escape some circumstances when the odds are stacked against one financially. Highly recommend
  • I finished it

    By Sarah1228484
    I kept waiting for something to happen. I liked the idea of this book and it wasn’t poorly written. It just wasn’t memorable for me.
  • Brava

    By tammyannie w
    What a life. Good for you and your daughter and family for survival for tenacity and love.
  • Lots of whining

    By Mike Gig
    I realize the extreme hardship the author went through, and I do empathize with her. However, the entire book basically boils down to her repeating over and over again the things she cannot afford. This should be talked about, of course, but it is on every page. She goes on about how much pain she is in from being a maid and the hard physical labor it is and that she has no health insurance. I wonder why she did not get an office position making minimum wage (which is what she made cleaning) and try to work her way up. There are many unanswered questions in the book. All that being said, her family situation is quite sad, she has no support and no one who can help her with child care or financially, not even her parents. She does write about the people whose houses she clean, which is interesting in a voyeuristic kind of way. But other all it is a tiring and tedious read.
  • Honesty

    By brennansgranmom
    The author writes with the authority and honesty Of living life the best she can and doing it with very little help. The saddest part is that some in this country doubt the amount of work and commitment that goes into such a life.
  • Maid well!

    By RyahWood
    Excellent book! Thought-provoking while really interesting to read. The author does a great job showing (not just telling) you about her journey! While I’ve always been a neat freak, I’m going to be even more mindful of the condition I leave a motel room in! The author has definitely increased my awareness of the difficulties many women face when faced with limited options for supporting themselves and others. Thank you.