Coming in 2019, Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive

I don’t know how or why we lead the lives we do. Why are some people born into a family of millionaires while others scrape to get by? Why is life so easy for some and so difficult for others? Have you ever found yourself judging a person using food stamps to buy their groceries? Have you ever judged welfare recipients? I could go on and on with the questions.

So many questions and judgments often swirl around those who are very different from us. I loved the book Nickel and Dimed which shed a hard light on trying to earn a living on low wages. There are people who are considered the “working poor” earning minimum wage while trying to support a family. In Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive by Stephanie Land, we see first hand how much of a challenge it is to work full time, pay bills, care for children, and try to improve your life so you can move ahead.

There were many times during the story where I felt with certainty that the author, Stephanie is way stronger than I could ever be.  Being a mother is hard, being a single mother is probably harder than I can imagine. And being a poor single mom? I don’t know how Stephanie had the inner strength and intelligence to make things work.

 

Here’s what you need to know:

As a single mother, Stephanie scrubbed the toilets of the wealthy and lived in a dank studio with her daughter. Her journey is one of resilience and grit as she hops from home to home and survives on meager wages and public assistance. MAID is a deep dive into the gut-wrenching truth of both the secret underbelly of middle class America, and the reality of what it’s like to be in service to them. Barbara Ehrenreich writes, “Stephanie Land has something to teach us about both sides of the inequality divide. Neither is what you are expecting.”

Written in raw, masterful, heart-rending prose, MAID is the story of one woman’s tenacity to survive and break free of the grips of the system to give her child a better life. Stephanie Land’s work gives voice to the working poor. Her compassionate, unflinching writing is fueled by her own struggle as a low-income single mother who aspired to use her stories to expose the reality of pursuing the American Dream while being held under the poverty line.

 

This is a truthful struggle and the author sugarcoats nothing. You feel her frustration and exhaustion. This isn’t a lesson in poverty in the US, a political commentary, or a guide on how immigrants deal with the same struggles, rather its one woman’s journey and her experiences. I sense none of the “white privilege” we hear about, poverty is a sharp and cutting equalizer.

I am in awe of Stephanie’s fortitude and highly recommend this book. Due out in January 2019.

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