The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz


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Joan Skraggs is fourteen years old and lives with her father and her brothers in a farm in Pennsylvania; she is smart and resourceful and wants to keep going to school to become a teacher herself. However, her father does not share Joan’s desires, and forces her to leave school to work at the farm.

Joan’s father is very strict, and denies Joan also the little money from selling the eggs; after a last quarrel, Joan decides to run away from home and find work as a maid in a city.

In Baltimora Joan becomes Janet and finds work with a rich Jewish family, the Rosenbach. Janet becomes soon used to the peculiar habits of the family and soon she becomes friendly also with the master of the house and his sons and daughter.

The narration is in the form of a diary written by Joan, and through her eyes the reader becomes familiar with Joan’s world. Joan/Janet has also some misunderstanding with the Rosenbach, but her good spirit and her open mind make her overcome the problems she has to face.

It’s nice to read Joan’s story, she is ambitious and resourceful, and the diary allows to follow her in the good and the bad moments. The characters are credible and evolve coherently to the story (the one who changes the most is Joan herself), and the historical setting (the novel is set in 1911) is believable and well detailed.

* The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz ★★★★☆

*I read this book in english


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