Thursday, April 25, 2024

The Maid by Nita Prose

The Maid
by Nita Prose
Read by Lauren Ambrose
9 hours, 37 minutes
Published January 2022 by Random House Publishing Group

Publisher's Summary: 
Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by. 

Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection. 

But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late? 

A Clue-like, locked-room mystery and a heartwarming journey of the spirit, The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different—and reveals that all mysteries can be solved through connection to the human heart.

My Thoughts: 
I recently saw that the 2nd book in this trilogy will be coming out soon so I decided it was time to get to this one that I've been hearing about for more than two years. Plus, I could get the audiobook from the library right away. So that was a win. But it was the least of the wins with this book. 

Win number two - Lauren Ambrose's reading. I loved it; I can't help but thinking that, had I been reading this in print, Ambrose's voice for Molly is exactly what I would have been hearing in my head. But even better. 

Win number three - this is just a really fun, really sweet book. There's a lot of humor in the book, keeping the book light enough to race through; but also so much heart. My heart went out to Molly as she struggled to know what to do without her Gran, who was her number one fan but also the person who understood her the best and was best able to help Molly navigate in the world. 

Molly doesn't read social cues very well. She doesn't always know when people are trying to hurt her feelings and she doesn't know when people are using her, preying on her desire for companionship. Fortunately, Gran wasn't the only person who understands Molly and knows that she's incapable of the murder of which she stands accused. Molly's not totally naive - when it comes down to it, she'll do what needs to be done to make things right and to protect the people she cares about. Molly has so much to give - she's a hard worker, eager to learn, and a very caring person. Those who mock her would do well to take a lesson from her. 

Some of my favorite books are books with neurodivergent lead characters. We learn so much from them - how to see the world from a different point of view and that we need to give grace to others who aren't "like us." I can't wait to get my hands on the next book to see what happens to Molly next! 

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