➼ Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive Download ➻ Author Stephanie Land – Writerscompany.co.uk

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive In Maid Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother s Will to Survive, we meet Stephanie Land, a single mom to her daughter, Mia, trying to keep a roof over their heads and maintain some form of stable life This is easier said than done as Stephanie is met with numerous challenges including little support from her family, Mia s father, and other relationships, as well as multiple jobs with low paying wages that rarely allow those performing them to get ahead A few years ago I read Evicted, which I really enjoyed despite numerous difficult subjects throughout the book In some ways Maid reminded me of Evicted Though Evicted is of a culture study and well researched, Stephanie shared some of the struggles referenced in that book Maid is a mix between Stephanie s own challenges and observations in her work, of the lives of the residents whose houses she cleaned It wasn t difficult to follow, I just wasn t sure what direction this was headed in for awhile It was almost as if there were 2 separate stories in this one book I felt anxious for Stephanie in her current circumstances How would she be able to survive another financial blow How could she only take 6 home from a cleaning job that her employing company charged 25 for How could Mia be sick again, and why isn t she getting any better If Stephanie made 50 a month, she could lose her government assisted funding so, what was the point of trying to get ahead It was stressful to read about these numerous struggles Yes, stressful for me, as a removed, third party reader so I can t imagine the stress Stephanie felt, living it It s often easy to criticize a situation and note what you would do and how you would handle things differently, but in this case, I didn t feel this way to the extent I have with other memoirs I ve previously read Stephanie made some questionable decisions but I appreciated that she acknowledged many them for example, staying in a relationship too long because she enjoyed the idea of it, though she knew it was already over rather than denying them, or seeking sympathy because of the consequences of those choices Maid is an interesting story and a reminder of the struggles many people face today While it wasn t my favorite memoir, overall, I enjoyed reading it I admire the determination Stephanie maintained and hard work she put in, in order to create a better life for herself and for her daughter Thank you to NetGalley and Hatchette Books for providing a copy of Maid in exchange for an honest review. fulfilling book riot s 2018 read harder challenge task 14 A book of social sciencethis one might be memoir than social science, but it s ehrenreich approved and that s good enough for me okay, so i would say this is definitely memoir than social science, but i went into it with good intentions, and it s too close to the end of the year for me to be a stickler for reading challenge precision if the bookriot police wanna come for me i ll be here, trying to accomplish my remaining annual reading goals i do not know why this year was such a difficult one for my reading or, i do, but this is not the place to moan about it although part of it is actually a good segue into reviewing this book finding work that pays the bills has become my most prolonged struggle.my situation is in no way as difficult as the author s, but the fears that keep her up at night, the distance she perceives between herself and those of even average financial means, the anxiety and shame and sacrifices i found myself relating to it than was pleasant to relate Most of my friendships had faded over the last year because I d isolated myself and hidden from the embarrassment of my daily life.again, and i cannot stress this enough my situation is in no way as dire as hers was i m not comparing i m empathizing with the way it feels to work hard and still be struggling, to exhaust yourself for barely enough to get by The child support I received barely covered the cost of gas The entire 275 a month went to the trips back and forth so Mia could see her dad.i am only responsible for my ownself and i can t imagine having to care and provide for a child on what i m able to earn, nor can i imagine having to navigate the truly byzantine web of government assistance agencies, especially having to navigate them in the condition motherhood and poverty can leave a person depleted by anxiety attacks, hunger, illness, exhaustion, and perpetual physical pain from hard manual labor so much of her account is exasperating, illuminating the ways that logic is broken The most frustrating part of being stuck in the system were the penalties it seemed I received for improving my life On a couple of occasions, my income pushed me over the limit by a few dollars, I d lose hundreds of dollars in benefits Due to my self employment, I had to report my income every few months Earning 50 extra could make my co pay at day care go up by the same amount Sometimes it meant losing my childcare grant altogether There was no incentive or opportunity to save money The system kept me locked down, scraping the bottom of the barrel, and without a plan to climb out of it and how degrading and soul killing the cycle I thought of how many times the police, firemen, and paramedics had come to our building in the last couple of months of the random checks to make sure living spaces were kept clean or to make sure broken down cars in the parking lot had been repaired to patrol us so that we weren t doing the awful things they expected poor people to do, like allowing the laundry or garbage to pile up, when really, we lacked physical energy and resources from working jobs no one else wanted to do We were expected to live off minimum wage, to work several jobs at varying hours, to afford basic needs while fighting for safe places to leave our children Somehow nobody saw the work they only saw the results of living a life that constantly crushed you with its impossibility so, it s a memoir with social science appeal it absolutely leaves an impression about what it s like to be trapped in the struggle, trying to stay healthy enough to work a thankless job when even ibuprofin is a luxury, to take online courses after a full day s work on an empty stomach, to sacrifice, to swallow pride, and to work really hard, whether people see the work or not i m going to be annoying and type out a whole thing now, but i think this part of the book does the best job at highlighting both the social science bits how unreasonable the system and the memoir bits how humiliating to endure the perceptions of needing the system it also gives you a good sense of her writing style, and you can always not read it if you don t like reading Even though I really needed it, I stopped using WIC checks for milk, cheese, eggs, and peanut butter I never seemed to get the right size, brand, or color of eggs, the correct type of juice, or the specific number of ounces of cereal anyway Each coupon had such specific requirements in what it could be used for, and I held my breath when the cashier rang them up I always screwed up in some way and caused a holdup in the line Maybe others did the same, since cashiers grew visibly annoyed whenever they saw one of those large WIC coupons on the conveyor belt Once, after massive amounts of miscommunication with the cashier, an older couple started huffing and shaking their heads at me My caseworker at the WIC office even prepared me for it The program had recently downgraded their qualifying milk from organic to non organic, leaving me with a missing chunk in my food budget I couldn t afford to make up If at all possible, I tried to give Mia only organic whole milk Non organic, 2 percent milk might as well have been white colored water to me, packed with sugar, salt, antibiotics, and hormones These coupons were my last chance for a while to offer her the one organic food she ingested besides her boxes of Annie s macaroni and cheese When I d scoffed at losing the benefit to purchase organic whole milk, my caseworker nodded and sighed We just don t have the funding for it any, she d told me I somewhat understood, since a half gallon had a price tag of nearly four dollars The obesity rates are going up in children, she added, and this is a program focused on providing the best nutrition They don t realize that skim milk is full of sugar I asked, allowing Mia to climb out of my lap so she could play with the toys in the corner They re also adding ten dollars for produce she added brightly, ignoring my grumpy attitude You can purchase any produce you want, except potatoes Why not potatoes I thought of the large batches of mashed potatoes I made to supplement my diet People tend to fry them or add lots of butter, she said, looking a little confused herself You can get sweet potatoes, though She explained I d have to purchase exactly ten dollars worth or less, and I wouldn t be able to go over, or the check wouldn t work I wouldn t get any change if the produce I selected rang in under ten dollars The coupons didn t have any real monetary value.That day at the store, with it being the last month of organic milk, I wanted every bit I could get Your milk isn t a WIC item, the cashier said again It won t ring up that way She started to turn to the young man bagging our other groceries and sighed I knew she was going to tell him to go run and get the right kind of milk It happened to me with the eggs all the time.My checks weren t expired, but the store had already updated their system Normally, I would have cowered, taken the non organic milk, and run out, especially with two old people shaking their heads in annoyance I glanced at them again and caught the man standing with his arms crossed and head tilted, eyeing my pants with holes in the knees My shoes were getting holes in the toes He loudly sighed again.I asked to speak to the manager The cashier s eyebrows shot up as she shrugged her shoulders and put up her hands in front of me, like I d pulled out a gun and ordered her to give me all her money Sure, she said, evenly and coolly the voice of a customer service representative faced with an unruly shopper I ll get the manager for you As he walked over, I could see his flustered employee following behind him, red faced and gesturing wildly, even pointing at me, to explain her side of the story He immediately apologized and overrode the cash register Then he rang up my organic whole milk as a WIC item, bagged it, and told me to have a wonderful day.As I pushed my cart away, my hands still shaking, the old man nodded towards my groceries and said, You re welcome I grew infuriated You re welcome for whatI wanted to yell back at him That he d waited so impatiently, huffing and grumbling to his wife It couldn t have been that It was that I was obviously poor, and shopping in the middle of the day, pointedly not at work He didn t know I had to take an afternoon off for the WIC appointment, missing 40 in wages, where they had to weigh both Mia and me We left with a booklet of coupons that supplemented about the same as those lost wages, but not the disgruntled client whom I d had to reschedule, who might, if I ever needed to reschedule again, go with a different cleaner, because my work was that disposable But what he saw was that those coupons were paid for by government money, the money he d personally contributed to with the taxes he d paid To him, he might as well have personally bought the fancy milk I insisted on, but I was obviously poor so I didn t deserve it.ugh, right don t go over, don t go under, buy this, don t buy that, jump through hoops and get it all right and people will STILL look down on you for the fun carefree life you re having living hand to mouth good grief.so, yeah it s just one woman s experience, but it exposes a lot of systemic cracks and maybe it ll make one old man at a grocery store less of a jerk someday you are not time traveling i started this review months ago and got distracted by shiny things come to my blog 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. I WORK 25 HOURS A WEEK AS A PROFESSIONAL CLEANER, BUT IT S NOT ENOUGH TO PAY THE BILLS Page 131 Going into this book, I so badly wanted to come out rooting for Stephanie Land, but I keep coming back to that quote above and cannot wrap my head around what should be surprising about her story As a college educated woman who works for one of the largest companies in the world, if I worked 25 hours a week it would not be enough to pay my bills either Is there a larger theme I m missing that we should all be able to work part time This book claims to be an exploration of poverty in America, but it s not it s a single perspective about one woman and the assumptions she makes about those who employ her.There are so many WTF moments in this book that I truly wish I could have called Land to get of the facts, and maybe that s just par for the course with this being her first book, but ultimately these things led me to feel the way I do Why, at 29, does she have no savings and decide to have a baby with an abusive man who has indicated he doesn t want to care for the child How is she spending 275 month on gas to see Jaime when she s said that Mia only goes to him every other weekend Is she driving 4 hours both ways When she clearly can t afford to raise Mia on her own, why was she saving baby clothes just in case she might have a baby with her then abusive boyfriend, Travis When she receives 100 from her dad, why doesn t she save it for food instead of spending it on Match.com She says that she looked for jobs and private clients on Craigslist, but was she also looking for full time work elsewhere Why was she looking at expensive private schools for Mia What was wrong with free, public preschools, or even looking at local churches When she gets her 4,000 tax refund, why does she buy a 200 diamond ring immediately after describing how her daughter is violently ill from the black mold in their apartment When she complains that she was so bored at clients houses after she finished cleaning that she filled the time by snooping, why didn t she use this time instead to do schoolwork Many of these decisions are selfish ones, but Land refuses to acknowledge that In the absence of any background or introspection, I found it difficult to form a positive opinion of Land Of course, she s under no obligation to explain any of this to anyone, but without all the facts, I honestly felt that the narrative was trying to convince me that she is a whiny, privileged woman who casts blame on everyone but herself for her choices, and who actively tries to work as little as possible to spend time with her daughter The lack of discussion, remorse, anxiety, or reflection about things she could have done differently, or mistakes she made, was jarring to me especially in a memoir The description of this book over promised on what it s actually about I wish Land would have focused on her struggles with various types of government support, the experiences of her co workers, and perhaps a larger theme about how the choices you make in life can ultimately have damning consequences Instead what she provided is a look into the lives and homes of the people she was working for the people who paid her, while unbeknownst to them, she rifled through their prescriptions, personal effects, human ashes, or donned their clothing I d miss her cashmere hoodie with sleeves long enough to cover my hands and pet my cheeks when I put it on page 243.I don t know why this book is being compared to Evicted or Nickel and Dimed because it bears no resemblance.See of my reviews Blog Instagram This won t be popular but I found this book, Maid, supremely irritating The pitch was whiny, judgmental, and jealous This may come off as harsh but some life situations are made from bad choices Some from just bad luck But to begrudge anyone else a bit of happiness because your life is hard was just poor taste I admire Stephanie Land s work ethicbut, I didn t think her writing was strong and the details were repetitious There is a limit as to how many times I want to read an exhaustive description about cleaning revolting toilets Finally, lest you think I m a total curmudgeon, I was raised by a mother who worked long hours while raising four children and taking care of her elderly parents Mom did not complain My Mom enrolled in college after we graduated high school and obtained her social work degree and used her personal experience to help disenfranchised women find new purpose in life I m glad Ms Land has found success in life as a writer and I hope it will brings her much happiness It s what I wish for all of us. Wish I could have climbed into these pages and given this young woman a hug Nineteen pregnant, she leaves an abusive relationship When her daughter is born she is a single mother with few resources and very little support This is a honest, down to earth, telling of her story trying to manuver through a system that is stacked against her She is a hard worker and takes the only job she can get, while still taking care of her daughter, and taking online classes in a effort to provide for a better future She cleans houses, working whenever she can, for very little money, and much pain She tells her story without dramatics, yet one can not help but feel for her and her little Mia.It is easy to be an armchairir quarterback, and zero in on all the things she could have been differently, but the truth is much complicated Her parents, divorced, both with new mates, are either unwilling or unable to help It would be a cold day in hell, before I would refuse to help any child of mine to the best of my ability, let alone my granddaughter Always budgeting, pay day to pay day, government aid only covering the bare or should I say barely covering, the basics She has to deal with the shame she feels, and the condemnation of those who see her in the grocery using her food card One man actually told her to thank him as he was paying for her groceries with his taxes.There is little incentive to work harder as making only fifty dollars would disqualify her for her childcare voucher, or jepardize her rent subsidy Her life is not all sorrow, she has happy times, wonderful times with her daughter, one can tell how much she wishes she could provide for her in a better way These systems, like so many others in the states are broken, flawed, but it is so hard to change people s thinking Maybe this book would help, because she shows that the working poor are not restricted to one race, but cross socioeconomic barriers and skin color The book does end on a hopeful note and I certainly hope she and Mia continue to do well.ARC from Hatchette books. FOUR STARSI saw Stephanie Land, the author, on my hometown local morning television show I was struck by her sincerity, her soft voice, and her courage in outing herself as a single mother struggling to survive in poverty Land s memoir begins with her unexpected pregnancy by a new boyfriend at age 28 The boyfriend is than a jerk and Land gets away from him once he becomes violent Without any family help that she could count on, Land lives with her baby daughter in a homeless shelter and then in low rent apartments that she could barely afford Over the next few years she supports herself and her kid by cleaning homes and doing yard work She spends an inordinate amount of time applying for government aid, keeping files of paperwork and arranging her work schedule around government office schedulesI was, Land wrote, overwhelmed by how much work it took to prove I was poor The bulk of the memoir details her grueling experiences as a faceless, invisible house cleaner Cleaning houses for hours on end, often sick she and her daughter lived in a black mold ridden apartment and suffered constant sinus infections, etc meant she was almost always in some type of muscular or nerve pain Instead of surnames, Land refers to her clients by how she thinks of their homes There is the Sad House, the Porn House, the Plant House She silently becomes intimately familiar with her clients bathroom habits and drug preferences I think this is a one sided affair that has been going on since before there were servants at Downton Abbey The nosy minded me will really enjoy some of these house descriptions These families run the gamut of society and helped solidify the notion to Land that having money doesn t mean happiness The book ends on a bit of a happy note Land did not allow her soul crushing occupation to take away her dreams of a college degree and becoming a writer However, in the interview I saw, she states that she was still forced to apply for food stamps for some time afterwards Land s completely raw honesty is admirable I believe her unwavering love for her daughter is truly what saved her This memoir is worth reading Just be prepared for a melancholy feel versus an inspired one I listened to the audio version Excellent The author narrates and did a wonderful job. As a licensed clinical social worker with over 30 years experience working with the marginalized populations, I was predisposed to like this book, and be sympathetic toward the protagonist However I was surprised to find as I read this book, what little empathy I had for her She does not come across as sympathetic but rather as whiny and entitled.This is a 28 year old woman who got pregnant, bore a child, and had to use several different programs to get by Throughout the book she complains about the multiple programs she has to have access to obtain help for herself and her daughter She complains about having to clean houses for a living, but does not appear to seek any other type of employment She complains about the people whose homes she has to clean and comes across as judgmental regarding their lifestyles, but seems to have very little insight regarding her own.Ms Land assumes everyone is looking down on her for having to use WIC and SNAP, to feed herself and her daughter Then she complains about not being able to purchase organic milk and a Aunt Annie s Mac n cheese with WIC Seriously, people who have 2 parents working can t afford this stuff and she s complaining But never mind, she makes a fuss and the manager fixes it for her But wait, the couple behind her is miffed and she is sure it s because she s using government assistance, not because she held up the line Who knows, either scenario could be true, but Ms Land appears to prefer to make herself a victim who is constantly being judged for using government programs Although I am sure she experienced this on several occasions, she makes it seem as if every single time she went to the store she was being judged.She plays the abuse card although there is no evidence that her child s father is abusive, other than he s not a nice person and he punches a hole in a wall Yet despite her constant fretting about his bad character, she leaves her daughter with him, often asking for extra time so she can work Ok I get it, she needs to make money But then she worries about the child s weight loss after staying with him, hearing men s voices in the background when she calls her child and not being able to talk to her ex, and the daughters clinginess upon returning, yet she STILL leaves her with him to go on vacation by HERSELF.Subsequently, she leaves her daughter alone in the car, off the highway to fetch a toy that went out a window, only to have the car wrecked with her daughter inside Then she refuses to have her daughter be taken the hospital by ambulance to be checked out due to her concern missing work.However, once she receives a 4000 tax refund check, does she put some money away for a rainy day To look for a better place to live, because the mold in her current apartment is causing her daughter to be constantly ill No she buy some needed things, pays off some bills, and then buys herself the diamond ring, and goes on vacation By herself.I could go on and on about what a disaster this woman seems to be I finished the book, and curious about what had happened to her after her success in publishing her book , found that she did not appear to learn anything from the above experience In her senior year of university she finds herself pregnant once again, without a partner, and about to be homeless Again With 2 kids now and no partner.So this memoir rang false to me This is not a book about being a maid It s basically a book about a woman who makes one poor choice after another, whining the entire time, blaming others for her situation, while blithely continuing on the same path she claims she was so desperate to get off. Hooooooooo boy was this one frustrating I almost gave up multiple times because it made me so angry, but let s just start at the beginning I got this from Book of the Month On their description it wasn t exactly clear that this was a nonfiction read they may have changed it since So I had VERY different expectations upon opening this book up and was very disappointed to see that it was not fiction But, hey, I m cool, I like nonfiction and so I set that all aside and figured it would still be a good read No.No, it was not.The author spends very little time actually talking about her time as a maid And when I say that I mean that she TALKS about cleaning, sure, and she talks about the houses she goes to and she will briefly mention the people she cleans up after and how many times she lays down and cries in their tub But as far as a deep, tell all introspective look at her clients life that reflects the differences in her her own life which is how this book was presented as on Book of the Month is so far off base that it s almost hilarious Let me sum up the book for you It is a mishmash wheelhouse of the following words mold, crying, black mold, sinus infection, slimy mold, wet eyes, tears, sobbing, infectious mold, unstoppable crying and Black Mold with capital letters And to top it off, the author repeatedly tells the same story multiple times, but often in different orders I.E she talks about how she pulled her back moving a couch and couldn t move out of her boyfriends house Then later she talks about how she pulled her back moving the same couch and couldn t do whatever it was Maybe she pulled it twice Maybe it was different times I don t know It just seems odd.I hate to rag on someones unfortunate life experiences, but I have to say that author made me feel zero sympathy for her I wasn t rooting for her to succeed as she very much seemed to continually put herself in terrible situations There s the obvious examples, looking for awful men she shacks up with and tries to get to solve her situation, family drama etc, but the one that got to me was this she receives 4,000 back from taxes Woohoo She s continually been told from multiple doctors and specialists that she needs to find a better apartment as her daughter suffers from recurring sinus infections because of BLACK MOLD But what does the author do with her extra fortune Does she put first and last s rent on a new place Does she possibly go and talk to the landlord and say he s violating rules and she will move out now that she could afford to No She puts some towards bills, the car, etc and then she buys herself a diamond wedding ring because she always wanted it and she s realized she has to commit to herself as there ain t no man who can pull her out of this situation Wut Far be it from me to tell someone how to spend their money Not my business, but you don t get to write a whole book about how awful, terrible and stinky your life is if at the first sign of the tides turning you buy unnecessary junk If I had to pinpoint exactly what I hated about this book and the thing that really rubbed me the wrong way it is how the author makes sure to take every opportunity to tell EVERYONE around her how bad her life is as if wanting them to fix it while not doing a whole lot herself I can t afford a new apartment Have you looked, Stephanie Well, no, but life is so HARD And there s MOLD Plenty of people offer to help her out along the way but somehow she believes she is better than them or whatever it is they are offering and won t accept it unless it s on her terms She won t go to food banks because she thinks there are people worse off than her who should use it She won t use food stamps or take clothes from the church because she s embarrassed of what people will think at the grocery store She s always making up little scenarios about how this person was definitely staring at her ratty jeans and was probably thinking what a terrible mother she is Or boy wouldn t it be nice to have a diaper bag and a husband to hold hands with But instead here I am sitting on the grass drinking watered down coffee with my daughter who is wearing the same shirt as yesterday and boy life sucks so hard Good lord she was exhausting Nothing really happens in the book She works as a maid, she moves around a bit, she earns money, looses money and then moves to Montana because she always wanted to go to school there I don t know I m out of words to describe this book There s nothing of any real substance here I m sorry she had a terrible time in life I m happy she s doing well now Congrats on the book, I guess I think it would ve made a fantastic fiction book that was based on real life events instead of a memoir But as it is, I m reluctantly giving this book just one star. Stephanie Land didn t experience the best start in life, well not when it comes down to the most important thing for a child love Neither parent seemed to have much of it to give, in fact they present themselves as extremely selfish individuals Stephanie finds herself pregnant and in an abusive relationship, which should herald the end of her dreams of going to college, but this is one thing that she will try desperately to hang onto.We accompany Stephanie and her daughter Mia, as they attempt to overcome the many trials and tribulations that come with being caught up in the poverty trap The rules imposed on people in their position appear to be designed to keep them there Life for Stephanie is really tough it s a round of long hours of physically hard work as a maid, cleaning the homes of the wealthy, whilst receiving low pay in return, and she still tries to include some study time in the hopes of a better future In addition, Mia is a sickly child who s illnesses are compounded by the poor living conditions that they have to endure There s also the indignities that Stephanie experiences when using food stamps in the grocery store on one occasion the man behind her in the queue remarks loudly enough so that everyone can hear You re welcome the implication being that he personally has paid for the food by paying his taxes Little did he know just how hard Stephanie had to work to simply hang onto what little she had the old car that was essential to enable her to get to clients homes, the glass walled studio apartment overlooking the freeway, which was freezing cold and black with mould in winter, and then turned into a greenhouse in the summer, and she could barely afford even that But most of all it was Mia that made the hard work not only essential, but worth it, as Stephanie battled against ex partner Jamie s constant threats to apply for custody of Mia every time something went wrong in her life.There s no doubt that Stephanie did initially make some poor choices in life, though she soon discovers that freedom of choice is a privilege granted only to those with financial security but it would be wrong of me to suggest that everything that happens to her was entirely her fault it wasn t Once you re in a cycle of poverty, it s really really difficult to get out of it There were moments when she couldn t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but her love for Mia just pushes her that extra yard to aspire to those goals that she thought were lost forever.I do feel that some areas of Stephanie s personal life were skimmed over in favour of descriptions of clients homes Just one instance of this was when a male friend lent her a car, it turned out that she d been seeing him on and off for some time, but this was the first and only mention of him However, this was an enlightening memoir with regard to the human face of poverty the one behind the government s statistics Thank you to Netgalley and Orion Publishing Group, Trapeze for my ARC I have given an honest unbiased review in exchange

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