This Week's Review at Inklings

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive by Stephanie Land

Shame is a powerful silencer. It slowly creeps its way into our lives and chokes out our voice. When it comes to intimate partner abuse there is an overwhelming amount of confusion, fear, and the inability to trust your own judgement. The classic question, “why didn’t you just leave?”, forces everyone into the same box of assumptions. The answer to that question isn’t simple, and Stephanie’s memoir “Maid” gives us a raw, unfiltered dose of what it’s truly like to be in her shoes. I think it’s important to read stories like hers because it breaks the cycle of shame around this very real reality. The hard truth is that all of us either know someone or are in the very situation Stephanie was in. Our daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, mothers, and fathers need us to step up and stand tall in the face of injustice. 

Stephanie addresses the obstacles she faced and the wall of challenges in front of her that stood between her and freedom. One of them was her support system. In the book she talks about how she didn’t have anyone in her life that could help her. Her family was stuck in a cycle of toxic behaviors, she didn’t have friends to help her, or a mentor to guide her. Stephanie had to navigate all of these unknowns by herself. Leaving an abusive situation is extremely difficult to do when you are in isolation. 

Another obstacle she talks about is the challenges surrounding poverty. Once she left the abusive situation she didn’t have any money to start over. She couldn’t find shelter, food, or childcare without government assistance. The process to receive any help was exhausting and long. Even though she was working, it wasn’t enough to provide basic needs. Financial security can impact the decision to stay or leave. 

The other obstacle she talks about is navigating the trauma. There isn’t time to address the consequences of abuse because she must focus on survival. She doesn’t have the luxury to process years of trauma because she must focus on finding shelter, providing food for her daughter, and fighting legal action. 

There are many other issues she speaks on in her book, and it’s important that we listen to her story. This book will open your eyes to the struggles people face when it comes to abuse. It will challenge you to confront your own biases, areas where you can extend help and give empathy to others. I hope her story will open a conversation and help us all to find solutions in a dark area. I believe there is power in our stories, and Stephanie has something bold to say that all of us need to hear. Happy reading friends! 

Review by Krystal Griswold