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January 19, 2022

The Maid by Nita Prose ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

You've probably heard a little about Nita Prose's debut novel The Maid. It has received a good deal of buzz after being picked as Good Morning America book club read and a movie deal with Florence Pugh set to play Molly Gray.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Maid
January 2022; Ballantine Books; 978-0593356159
audio, ebook, print (304 pages); mystery

Months ago, before all the media buzz, I requested the ARC because so many people in my reviewer groups were excited about it. I love a good mystery and I had a bit of FOMO. And then all the buzz started and I started worrying that it wouldn't live up to the hype. After I finished the book though I understood why everyone was talking about it and totally agree that it deserves the hype.

Molly Gray is a maid at a luxury hotel. She truly loves her job and takes great pride in returning a guest's room "to a state of perfection". Molly was raised by her grandmother and lived with her until her passing a few months ago. Molly relied on her grandmother for understanding the world. She struggles with social situations as she doesn't always recognize facial expressions and takes statements quite literally. Because she is different from others she has been the victim of bullying and people taking advantage of her.

I'm always one to root for the underdog so I was immediately taken with Molly. I hurt for her when I could see people taking advantage of her - she always assumes the best of people and believes them when they say they are her friend. I was also a little angry with her grandmother for not making sure Molly would be better protected after she (the grandmother) died. 

This was a very engrossing book. I hated that I was so tired in the evenings because I wanted to consume big junks of the story and that is exactly what I did when I go the weekend when I could read earlier in the day. You know there are sinister things going on at the hotel but since we only have Molly's point of view, the reader can only sort of piece it together by reading between the lines. Given Molly's social struggles, you have to question her reliability as a narrator - at one point I wondered if she was faking it - the way she talks and acts at time just seem to be over the top and could be a good ruse.

The mystery is awesome and when it starts to unravel it is quite the rollercoaster. I do have to say that some of the legal scenes seemed to be written more for convenience than to be realistic - why was the detective arguing against bail instead of the prosecutor? (there are other examples but that would spoil the story). We don't know what state the book is in so maybe some states handle things differently.

I enjoyed the characters.  Again because the story is from Molly's POV we don't get to know any of them well. Her interactions with them tend to be short. But Molly is observant and even though she often interprets the situation wrong the reader can see the truth - which made me both angry and sad for Molly.

I have seen The Maid being compared to an Agatha Christie mystery and it definitely had that vibe for me. While I have read several books that were written in the vein of Christie, they don't always measure up. I felt like this one was the whole package - wonderful writing, interesting and sympathetic characters, and a mystery with plenty of twists.

If you haven't picked up this book yet, you are going to want to put it at the top of your to read pile.

Buy The Maid at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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  1. I've been hearing such good stuff about this book! I'll add it to my TBR list right now.