Popping in midweek with an audiobook and a good one at that.
I am your maid.
I know about your secrets. Your dirty laundry.
But what do you know about me?
Molly the maid is all alone in the world. A nobody. She’s used to being invisible in her job at the Regency Grand Hotel, plumping pillows and wiping away the grime, dust and secrets of the guests passing through. She’s just a maid – why should anyone take notice?
But Molly is thrown into the spotlight when she discovers an infamous guest, Mr Black, very dead in his bed. This isn’t a mess that can be easily cleaned up. And as Molly becomes embroiled in the hunt for the truth, following the clues whispering in the hallways of the Regency Grand, she discovers a power she never knew was there. She’s just a maid – but what can she see that others overlook?
Escapist, charming and introducing a truly original heroine, The Maid is a story about how everyone deserves to be seen. And how the truth isn’t always black and white – it’s found in the dirtier, grey areas in between…
I had heard a lot of good things about this book and decided to give it a listen because I was looking for something a little different to what I have been reading lately. I have to say I went into this thinking it was going to be quite a tense mystery but, whilst it has its moments, it is actually a pretty light and entertaining book.
Molly is an interesting character, she does not always understand social cues and tends to take everything very literally, but she knows what she likes and has a very unique and compelling voice. She is a character that I instantly warmed to and felt terrible when she gets taken advantage of, which does happen quite often.
I enjoyed the concept of the mystery at the hotel and had gotten the impression that Molly would be perfectly placed to help solve what happened as she can go largely unnoticed, but this isn’t entirely what happens and this is where the story falters a little in my opinion. Whilst it is never stated, it would appear that Molly isn’t neurotypical, even though this is something immediately obvious to the reader/listener it seems like a lot of the people around her are completely clueless which is very unrealistic. It’s hard to give examples without spoilers but her difference leads to her getting caught up in some trouble and from the first crisis point that Molly encounters, it was hard to take it too seriously because it seemed a bit ridiculous that nobody would account for that.
Whilst I had those feelings I still managed to enjoy the story and started to root for Molly when she starts to play a little dirty even though it goes against her nature, and I was also glad that she finds some support and expands her circle of friends. However, there were a few occasions toward the end of the book that I felt that Molly’s actions were exceptionally out of character, almost completely contradictory to what I had been told up to that point and that I found very frustrating.
I will say however that I found the narration of this story fantastic, Lauren Ambrose brought Molly and the other characters to life and managed to capture a unique voice for each one, I got a bit of an ear-worm on hearing the phrase state of perfection. I think that this is possibly why I still appreciated the story so much even though I could find a lot of faults with it because I enjoyed the style in which the story was told to me.
The Maid is definitely an entertaining book and I can see why so many people love it, whilst I did have some issues with it, it did also have some lovely heartwarming moments that kept me invested in the story.