I can’t say I was really disappointed by expectations on this one, because I didn’t have any. It was only until about halfway through that I found myself wishing the book was something else, and that’s not the author’s fault. The cover and blurb are sort of misleading. This isn’t a book about what it’s like to be a maid, with hard-hitting social criticism or research. It’s a straight-up memoir about a single mother making her way in poverty, in which some of that time is spent with her working as a maid, but I would say she spends equal amounts of time talking about her relationships with her daughter, her parents, her struggles with our very flawed, almost non-existent social safety net, and her troubles with the father of her child, and the few relationships that came after. It really isn’t a book about being a maid. I wish it had been that book.
I found this an interesting and engaging listen (the author narrates it herself), but I didn’t love it. Land’s style didn’t fully mesh with me. She often dwelled on moments I wish she would have skipped or elided, and skipped things I wish she would have gone into more detail about. I wanted more acknowledgement about her circumstances in terms of a larger picture, but it’s really very focused on her specific experiences. A lot of it is also episodes of her being upset and frustrated (several episodes of bathtub crying while cleaning) which was wearying after a while (I’m sure it felt that way to her as well, but the writing of it is different from the experience, and should be). The most interesting parts were when she talked about cleaning her clients’ houses, and the way she would contrast their lives with hers, but she still managed to treat them with respect.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this, but you might like her style better than I did, so if it sounds interesting, maybe read the first chapter or so.