Maid Summary & Study Guide

Land, Stephanie
This Study Guide consists of approximately 55 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Maid.
This section contains 645 words
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Maid Summary & Study Guide Description

Maid Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on Maid by Land, Stephanie .

The following version of the book was used to create this study guide: Land, Stephanie. Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive. Hachette Books, 2019. Amazon Kindle E-book Edition.

After a foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich, Stephanie Land's story begins in the homeless shelter where she and her young daughter, Mia, have been living. Struggling with severe poverty, single motherhood, and isolation from financial help, Stephanie is reliant on government assistance as she tries to rebuild her life. She moves into a transitional apartment and works as a landscaper, having abandoned her dreams of going to university for creative writing after learning she was pregnant. She is also working toward her college degree while working and caring for her daughter. Readers learn that she is separated from Mia's father, Jamie, who is difficult and abusive. Embarrassed by her circumstances, Stephanie pulls away from her friends and worries about how she will pay her bills, particularly when the season changes and the landscaping work stops.

Stephanie meets Travis through an online dating site and soon moves in with him on his parents' farm where he works. Travis is a great father figure to Mia, but his relationship with Stephanie quickly deteriorates. Stephanie begins working as a cleaning lady. It is difficult work for very low pay and it makes Stephanie feel like an invisible servant. After first working as a cleaner for a woman named Jenny who ran an ad-hoc cleaning business, Stephanie begins to work for a larger company called Classic Clean. Although she works hard and as much as she can, her income remains incredibly low. Her relationship with Travis inevitably comes to an end, and she must figure out how to make ends meet on her own, with a whole host of new expenses.

Stephanie finds a tiny studio apartment for herself and Mia and continues to work as a cleaner, adding a few of her own private clients on to her schedule. Despite her hard work and long hours, she always struggles to make ends meet. She is constantly worried about her budget and expenses, which adds an extra layer of stress and anxiety to her life. She and Mia are often sick due to the omnipresent black mold in their apartment. Stephanie remains reliant on government assistance and is unable to get ahead. She is unable to afford to see a doctor for the chronic pain she develops from her job, but luckily Mia's illnesses, including her need for ear tube surgery, are covered by Medicaid. While living in poverty, Stephanie faces many prejudices and is often subject to rude comments about people who need government assistance. She feels shame and guilt about her poverty and her abilities as a mother, but she treasures the simple, happy moments with her daughter. Stephanie is alone and lacking in emotional as well as financial support, but she slowly learns to rely on herself and to become her own emotional support system.

After she and Mia are in a car accident, Stephanie begins to make some changes. She adjusts her work schedule and eventually quits Classic Clean, relying solely on her higher paying private clients. When Mia's chronic illness because of the mold in their apartment becomes unbearable, she finds them a better place to live by bartering cleaning services in exchange for reduced rent. Stephanie also decides to take out a student loan, so that she can focus on finishing her education and building her resume without working herself to death and struggling to make ends meet. It is a risk that pays off, and she also wins an academic scholarship. Through all her hardships and struggles, Stephanie has always dreamed of moving to Missoula, which she finally does in the book's final chapters. There, she and Mia begin a new life, having made it through their hardest struggles.

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This section contains 645 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Maid Study Guide
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