written by Chiara
Gran was particularly important to Molly because she helped her navigate social situations. Because of her social quirkiness, Molly always had a hard time making friends at the hotel, which is the focus of Molly’s life. In the past, she paid a high price for her naivety: she confesses that her ex-boyfriend stole all of her and Gran’s savings and disappeared forever from their lives.
Her world turns unexpectedly upside down when she discovers a dead body in one of the rooms she is cleaning. In the blink of an eye, our hero-maid becomes the primary suspect, getting entangled in a web of lies, mystery, and deception. But Molly’s only fault is that she puts too much trust in people who take advantage of her naivety. Her journey of self-discovery leads to some important breakthroughs, both in the case and personally.
When I started reading this novel, I was looking for a light, easy-to-read book that would restore my trust in humanity (if you know what I mean). I felt like I needed to take a break from the heavier, more powerful reads that have been haunting me lately. The Maid does the job perfectly! What I appreciated most was the plot’s fast unfolding, with sporadic, short flashbacks that didn’t divert my focus.
I would recommend this book to all readers who, like me, need a short break from dark, difficult-to-digest, long novels. It is worth mentioning, though, that the main character reminded me of Eleanor Oliphant, my all-time favorite hero created by Scottish author Gail Honeyman. In fact, I got the impression that Prose took a lot of inspiration from Honeyman’s character. Molly and Eleanor are both socially awkward, quirky and unpredictable. They both have a traumatic past and have trouble making friends. Perhaps this was the thing I liked least about The Maid: having read Honeyman’s novel first, I felt Molly was an imitation of Eleanor, even if the two stories are completely different. Still, this is an enjoyable, breezy debut novel with an interesting heroine. I am looking forward to reading more from this author—perhaps a whole saga with Molly the Maid as the protagonist?