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Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive (2019)

af Stephanie Land

Andre forfattere: Barbara Ehrenreich (Forord)

Serier: Maid

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,2566615,773 (3.63)53
Biography & Autobiography. Sociology. Nonfiction. HTML:NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND INSPIRATION FOR THE NETFLIX LIMITED SERIES, HAILED BY ROLLING STONE AS "A GREAT ONE."  "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
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.
 .
… (mere)
  1. 00
    Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City af Matthew Desmond (Micheller7)
  2. 00
    Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America af Barbara Ehrenreich (LovingLit)
  3. 00
    On the Come Up af Angie Thomas (kristenl)
    kristenl: Coincidentally I was listening to this at the same time that I read Maid. Although it is a fictionalized young adult novel about a Black girl, the descriptions of poverty felt very similar.
Indlæser...

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» Se også 53 omtaler

Engelsk (65)  Spansk (1)  Alle sprog (66)
Viser 1-5 af 66 (næste | vis alle)
I really wanted to enjoy this. The writing style just wasn’t my thing. I felt like this had so much potential to be hard-hitting but it fell flat for me. ( )
  EnchantedCabin | Jun 3, 2024 |
Stephanie Land's MAID (2019), a gift from my daughter, was, I've learned, a monster bestseller five years ago, now translated into several languages, and soon to be a Netflix film. I guess I missed all that hoopla somehow, but I'm very happy for the author, because the book itself, a memoir, is one of the saddest damn stories I've read in a long time. It chronicles her hardscrabble years of extreme poverty and barely scraping by as a single mom who cleaned houses for a living and lived in a tiny, mold-infested studio apartment with her toddler daughter, who was often sick from their substandard living conditions. There is much here too about the red tape of welfare and government programs for the poor - and it's not very flattering - as well as the less than sympathetic attitudes of people who are better off. Land is an excellent writer and never gives in to mawkish self-pity, but instead just tells it like it was, including how she sometimes had to just weep at the hopelessness of her situation. I winced my way through the whole thing, hoping against hope that things would improve for her. Did they? Read the book. It's a good one. Very highly recommended.

- Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER ( )
1 stem TimBazzett | Apr 22, 2024 |
Stephanie Land is a powerful author with a story worth sharing. Detailing her difficulty overcoming poverty to raise her child, Maid exemplifies just how hard it is to survive as a poor person in America today. The adversity Land faces can be difficult to read at times, but you find yourself rooting for her from page one forward. ( )
  kenzcast | Apr 9, 2024 |
I am not quite sure why I should feel so guilty about not liking this book - probably it is middle class, liberal guilt at not feeling sorry for a woman who is scraping by with not a lot and who is also a single mother. But there are several things that really irritated me.

The first time I was irritated was when I discovered that she was 28 years old when she became pregnant. How had she managed not to be pregnant in all the previous years? Why did it happen then? Why wasn't she being extra careful because the man was abusive? She might have given us some background around the situation to help us understand. It felt a little like she was hiding something.

The second element was that she hated it when people were judgemental about her, quite rightly. Poverty does not equal laziness or lack of ability, all it means is a lack of money and often no resources to fall back on. Nothing else. But then she goes on to judge other people, her parents included for not caring about her, not ringing on her birthday, her mother being more overweight than ever, her clients and their habits. It is right to be judgmental about the benefits system and child credit and how hard it is made to obtain them and she does briefly explore this but not in any depth. I know Land was writing her story but in truth, her story became a little boring.

I was unclear about what Land wanted from society if it isn't what she was getting. How do we help people in poverty find a way to live their lives with stability and resources? I am imagining that education is her way out even though she has to go into debt to achieve it. Decent, affordable housing for people on benefits would be another route; housing where a child can play and parents do not need to worry about their child's health. Child care, I presume, although she was accessing support with that.

I was irritated by her decision making: to stop on a motorway (or an American equivalent) for a toy. We all know how dangerous that is. I also knew as soon as she mentioned that she had a car that it would break down in some way and put her in more jeopardy - this was a tad predictable. Moving in with a man she had known after four months who turned up for a date in his work clothes. Come on! It was doomed to fail. Allowing an abusive man access to his daughter at weekends and holidays. Really? She comments regularly that she can hear men in the background when she rings her daughter when she stays with her father and she doesn't know who they are, alerting us to the fact that her daughter could be in danger but she doesn't put a stop to it.

The saddest thing about this book is that I think it is an intergenerational problem that is never explored. Her father has no money. In fact when he comes to pick her up after her car accident, he has no money to buy fuel - he does however, turn up to get her. Her mother now lives in Europe and seems to be living with at the very least a controlling man who does not want Land in his life. Her father is abusive towards the woman he was living with so there are many things that are being repeated here.

Land also drops into the book that she looks different to everyone else and that she is heavily tattooed. Now I don't want to stereotype here about why women might do this, but she never explains why. I was left overall with the feeling that there was much more to this story than was told and although I am very interested in how people 'level up' to use the government's parlance, I can't bring myself to read her next book. This book made me want to rant! ( )
  allthegoodbooks | Feb 21, 2024 |
I wanted to love this memoir. I wanted to be able to say, as I did for Tara Westover’s superb “Educated,” that every American should read this, but I can’t say that with conviction. Clearly, Stephanie Hand and her daughter endured hardships most of us will be fortunate enough to avoid in our lives. The sad truth that there are hard-working people who need government assistance just to scrape by in challenging living conditions is well documented in this personal story. There is great value in Ms. Land’s exposing the indignities she endured after escaping an abusive relationship with her daughter’s father and finding themselves homeless, with family unable to provide financial or emotional support, applying for assistance, working difficult labor cleaning other people’s filth and poor hygiene, getting lectured by people in the supermarket when she used her WIC or SNAP benefits to feed her daughter . . . . But, I also grew tired of her complaints, some of the things she did while cleaning houses, her dissatisfaction with her employers, clients, landlords, doctors, other mothers who had more than she did, every man she became involved with. Certainly, the public safety net is a difficult and often demeaning system to navigate, and many people have no sympathy at all for people who must avail themselves of social service to simply survive, but her lamentations grew wearisome. There were many wonderful moments, her fierce love for her daughter was admirable and sustained her through dark times, and I certainly rooted for her to eventually realize her dream of finishing her college degree, but I could have done with less anger and complaining. I read so many glowing reviews; perhaps my expectations were too high. ( )
  bschweiger | Feb 4, 2024 |
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Biography & Autobiography. Sociology. Nonfiction. HTML:NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND INSPIRATION FOR THE NETFLIX LIMITED SERIES, HAILED BY ROLLING STONE AS "A GREAT ONE."  "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
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.
 .

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