Much of this memoir is set in small towns in Western Washington including Port Townsend, Camano Island and Stanwood. That’s why it deserves a review on my blog and also because I found Land’s story riveting.
When Land was 28 years old she became pregnant by her emotionally abusive boyfriend. She eventually left the relationship and earned her way by working as a housekeeper. Between that work and various government programs, she managed to eke out a life for her and her daughter, Mia.
To distinguish the different people she cleaned for, she named their houses. The Clown House had lots of pictures of sad clowns (kind of scary, actually), The Porn House with overflowing garbage and a “Hustler” magazine in the nightstand and The Sad House where the owner was very sick.
Land does this menial work day after day. When she manages to find a better paying house to clean, the cost of her daycare for Mia goes up, so she can never really get ahead.
Yet all this time she’s taking online classes to get her college degree and yearning to move out of the Pacific Northwest to Missoula, Montana. Does she make these goals?
That’s reason enough to read “Maid” and find out. I will tell you that she’s not saved by a man. She’s much too strong for that.
I met Land virtually in a Facebook group for writers. At the time, she’d talked about her book that was coming out. But I don’t think she or anyone else knew how it would take the world by storm. The book became an Amazon bestseller almost instantly after publishing in January 2019. The Kirkus Review of “Maid” suggests “An important memoir that should be required reading for anyone who has never struggled with poverty.” In February, the book made it to number three on the New York Times Bestselling List.
These five-star reviews are totally earned. Land spent two years writing her story after an essay she wrote on the topic for Vox went viral. And she got a book deal from Hachette.
She writes well, makes cleaning houses interesting and proves just how strong a mother’s love can be.
I really hope she’s working on another book now because I want to know about her and how she’s doing.
You can follow her at @stephanielandwriter on Facebook, @stepville on Twitter and @stepville on Instagram.
Stay tuned for a fabulous giveaway to be announced this week.