Netflix’s ‘Maid’ Is Actually Based On A Heartbreaking True Story

All the best shows are.

It’s the Netflix show that has captured the world’s attention with its heartbreaking story of a single mother fighting to provide for her daughter. Maid details the life of Alex Russell (Margaret Qualley), a 25-year old woman with a two-year old daughter who has recently fled an abusive relationship with her longterm boyfriend, Sean Boyd (Nick Robinson). In order to survive on her own (and with less than $20 to her name), Alex begins working as a house cleaner to save them from homelessness. The work is unforgiving and gruelling, but she needs to find a way through to provide a better life for her daughter, Maddy. 

The 10-episode series has kept viewers on the edge of their seats, with its heartbreaking yet heartwarming plot line and incredibly talented cast. Many have found themselves wondering if the show is based on a true story, and as it turns out, it is. 

Is the show true to the book? 

Maid is based on the best-selling memoir from Stephanie Land, titled Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive. The book was released in 2019 and hit the New York Times best-sellers list. 

While the names have been changed for the series, the plot is much the same. Like Alex, Stephanie began working as a maid to support both herself and her child (who goes by Story) after fleeing a tumultuous relationship. Stephanie and Story spent 90 days in a homeless shelter, struggling to find work and unable to receive a childcare grant as a result of her unemployment. 

On her website, Stephanie details her reasons for writing her memoir, and her hopes for the change it will bring. 

“In writing MAID, I hoped the book would change the stigmas that surround single mothers, especially those living in poverty,” she explained. “The stigmas that say we somehow deserve hardship because of the terrible decisions we made to get us there.”

“I hoped people would see how hard we work to make ends meet, and how fiercely we love our kids. How much we struggle to be enough while the government scolds us, telling us we’re becoming dependent on things they call handouts, [but] we call means to survive. I also hope that you’ll begin to notice the millions of workers who invisibly clean up after us for minimum wage,” she continued. 

Where is Stephanie Land now? 

In 2014, Stephanie received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Montana. After spending nearly a decade working as a house cleaner, she began working as a freelancer and gave birth to her second child.

In 2015, Stephanie published an essay on Vox, detailing her time working as a maid. Unsurprisingly, the essay became very widely read very quickly, allowing her to hire a book agent and subsequently receiving a book deal with Hachette a year later. From there, we know the story. She published her memoir and fast forward to 2021, it’s become a highly successful series on Netflix. 

Stephanie is now married to a man named Tim Faust and the couple share four children in their blended family. She is currently working on a new novel titled Class, which is expected for release in 2022. 

You can find her on Instagram here.

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