Hard Work, Low Pay, and A Mother's Will to Survive

eBook - 2019
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Evicted meets Nickel and Dimed in Stephanie Land's memoir about working as a maid, a beautiful and gritty exploration of poverty in America. Includes a foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich. "My daughter learned to walk in a homeless shelter."While the gap between upper middle-class Americans and the working poor widens, grueling low-wage domestic and service work—primarily done by women—fuels the economic success of the wealthy. Stephanie Land worked for years as a maid, pulling long hours while struggling as a single mom to keep a roof over her daughter's head. In Maid, she reveals the dark truth of what it takes to survive and thrive in today's inequitable society.While she worked hard to scratch her way out of poverty as a single parent, scrubbing the toilets of the wealthy, navigating domestic labor jobs, higher education, assisted housing, and a tangled web of government assistance, Stephanie wrote. She wrote the true stories that weren't being told. The stories of overworked and underpaid Americans.Written in honest, heart-rending prose and with great insight, 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. With this book, she gives voice to the "servant" worker, those who fight daily to scramble and scrape by for their own lives and the lives of their children.
Publisher: 2019.
ISBN: 9780316421003
Branch Call Number: eBook overdrive
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Overdrive, Inc

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IndyPL_MichaelT Jun 30, 2019

Stephanie Land's, Maid, connects the dots of abortion, poverty and domestic violence within the working class quickly. Have we gotten any better in dismantling these critical issues? As a recent article in the Atlantic writes, it's expensive to be poor.

Jun 29, 2019

This book is incredible - couldn't put it down. Can't wait to see what else this author writes.

Jun 21, 2019

Sometimes a library book sits on your nightstand for 2-4 weeks. Other times a book is so good you read it in 2-4 DAYS. @stepville's MAID is a great read. And I loved all the Skagit County landmarks (I live in Mount Vernon)

Jun 15, 2019

Heartland by Sarah Smarsh is SOOOO much better than this book. Land whines and seems to believe that you should get something without pain. Envy is a b... What choices did she make between 18 and 28 that led her to this path? Glaringly silent on that - she says that people like Kurt who appear stoned all day "are her kind of people" - WHAT? She "hated having to be grateful for a job (that she admittedly) doesn't like - well..that could be said for many of us. "I craved human interaction EVEN IF it was a situation where I'd been hired by someone to work." Huh? What does this even mean? What about child support - she refuses to use resources available to her (food banks, etc.) because she is afraid of what people will think? Even though she has a child (now 2 children). She complains about how much of her $$ she must spend on gas to get to/from her jobs - I would assume that is the same for all of us! While I do believe that we need to simplify the safety net and believe in a living wage, this book did NOTHING for me to advocate for that. She seems to want to chase her dreams but wants everyone to feel bad for her because she does not have the resources to do so. None of her family, including a brother?, are still in the picture - including her exes (although they contribute to her daughter's well being) - what is the common denominator here? Just could not get into her story. I gave it a 3*** only because the underlying topic is so important but read Heartland for maybe I really mean 2**???

May 23, 2019

This book reads like a novel; it's a page turner. True story.

Stephanie Land's story is a true representation (memoir) of her life as a young, new mother, fighting to stay away from eviction, hunger, illness, and despair; her story also becomes a valid voice for the daily lives of millions of other impoverished single mothers like herself whose financial urgency is to put a roof over their heads and put food on the table to support and care for their children.

The book is also a true story of how broken families, nonexistent grandparents, and judgemental friends are "contributing realities" to deepening the pain of poverty at a scarcity level, poverty income; severe mental anguish.

Author Land gives readers a skilled and real and painful language of words, describing the stress, worry, exhaustion, and fears inside the lives of millions of women living in the United States, raising children in poverty.

After finishing this book, there could be an implicit "call for action" by any reader who might make a decision to do something regularly, not only seasonally, which represents taking an action of doing some act of compassion for the too-real poverty faced by any parent trying to raise a child while living in economic poverty. To act in the solidarity of understanding; actions.

Do you know the poverty rate % of the city in which you live? For Saint Paul, Minnesota, I've seen a 20% statistic, but have also seen higher than 20%.

May 20, 2019

Loved the honesty and realness of Stephanie's memoir. It has hints of "Educated" and perspective to be aware of those around you. Encouraging and transformative - well worth the read.

May 14, 2019

Just reading Stephanie Land's "Maid" has exhausted me. How did she manage the grueling workload, long commutes and longer hours for meager pay, while caring for her toddler and taking college courses? I think she did us all a great service in addressing the stigma of being part of the working poor in this country. And I look at bathrooms now in a whole new light.

May 06, 2019

Very Good! I would love to meet the author. I am following her career because her life as a blue collar/working class/poverty survivor is admirable. I enjoyed the forward since I read Nickel and Dimed back in 2008. Very well done. a must read.

Mar 29, 2019

I'm a reader who is hard to please. I borrow many books and start to read them, but don't finish them. This book was excellent. It is well written and tells a story with a real emotional impact. I am grateful I heard about it and glad I read it.

Mar 23, 2019

This is a real life story that takes us into the life of author Stephanie Land, a single mother reduced to living on low wages, in less than desirable housing, and struggling as a single mom.
Despite her infinite desire and hard work she barely provides. The government assistance meant to help comes with a heavy dose of judgement when the biggest need is encouragement. Success is measured differently by most and we see her definition in her countless efforts to make her dream come true.

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cals_readers Feb 12, 2019

Poverty was like a stagnant pond of mud that pulled at our feet and refused to let go.

cals_readers Feb 12, 2019

If I started crying every time something hard or horrible happened, well, I'd just be crying all the time.

cals_readers Feb 10, 2019

Reassurance of self-love was all I had.


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