Maid by Stephanie Land
Maid is the true story of a single mom who struggles to create a life for herself and her daughter. In the beginning, Stephanie is a young teenager in western Washington who aspires to go to college in Missoula, Montana. Right from the very first chapter I felt connected to this book. I was raised in Bozeman, Montana and familiar with the University of Montana, where Stephanie Land aspired to attend. Like her, I aspired to attend medical school at the University of Washington in Seattle. I also lived in Seattle for 3 years, but I did not finish graduate school.
Things took an unexpected turn in Stephanie's life when she had an unplanned pregnancy. As the product of an unplanned pregnancy herself, Stephanie felt a desire to nurture the life inside of her, the same way her mother had chosen to when she became pregnant with Stephanie. The relationship with the child's father was a strained one. Neither of them had planned to stay together long term, and they did not come to a mutual agreement about keeping the baby.
Stephanie's and her daughter Mia have a difficult life together strung together with a combination government support programs and finding work in landscaping and housekeeping in Washington. The one bright spot in the story is Stephanie's love for her daughter. When Stephanie is alone, without support from her parents, the father of her daughter or anyone else, it is her toddler that brings a smile to her face.
It is her desperation to find stable housing, nutritious food and to create a happy childhood for Mia that motivates Stephanie to work hard.