Book Reviews

Book Review: The Maid: A Novel

By Nita Prose

Published January 2022

280 Pages (Kindle version)

The blurb:  Molly struggles to navigate her world without her grandmother’s guidance.  She’s socially awkward and often misreads people’s emotions and intentions.  But she shines as a maid at The Regency Grand Hotel, setting a nearly impossible bar for cleanliness and orderly perfection.  Until the day she finds a guest dead in his suite and finds herself the main suspect in his death. When the police misinterpret her responses to their questioning, Molly may be unable to clear herself.  She turns to her friends for help but can no longer tell who is a friend and who has been playing her.

This novel hinges on Molly’s worldview.  Although not specifically stated, my interpretation is that she’s neurodivergent/on the autism spectrum and the author does a fabulous job showing us that.  I felt for Molly, dealing with jabs and insults from her coworkers without the guidance of her grandmother.  However, a little goes a long way and in the first half of this book we mostly only have Molly in the frame, dealing with the same people and, to some extent, the same situations over and over again.  By about the third time the author shows us Molly misinterpreting her crush, I was frustrated.  Not that I thought Molly should suddenly wise up, but because the relationship had been established and I wanted something else to happen.  But I had to wait for that because since the story started very close to the action, we needed backstory to catch up.  And that backstory came in the form of flashbacks – lots of flashbacks.  Flashbacks that told me what I already knew.  And they dropped in so often, I grew irritated and almost gave up on this book.

“The Maid” interpreted by Wombo Dream

But I kept going and I’m glad I did because finally, more characters took the stage to interact with Molly – characters that moved the plot forward.  Once they stepped in, the pacing picked up and I happily turned pages to see what happened.  

Molly’s emotional arc was believable and the story wrapped up neatly – until the last plot twist that felt more like withholding than an “a ha” moment.  For it to work, you’d have to be okay with the amount of information Molly withheld from the police at nearly every step of the investigation.  Some of it was plausible, some of it wasn’t.  Of course, this is just my opinion and not the prevalent one, judging by the book’s overall ratings.  Still, it’s my review and I can’t rate this one as high as I would have liked.

In the end, I rated this novel 3 stars.  ⭐⭐⭐

Until next time, thank you for visiting.

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