The Hired Girl, by Laura Amy Schlitz

the hired girl

Reading Sara Rating: 3.5/5

Print Length: 400 pages

Publisher: Candlewick (September 8, 2015)

I had a tough time rating this book because it was well-written, lovely to follow, and I enjoyed reading it. However, it wasn’t particularly memorable. I read it about two weeks ago and am already having trouble remembering some of the character names (and had to jog my memory to remember what the ending was). So, in 2016, visit for a new rating system that is more than numbers – and will hopefully better reflect my views on the books that I am reading.

I picked up The Hired Girl at an airport bookstore when I realized that I had left my Kindle at home, and was going to be away for the weekend. To be honest, I was surprised that I had not heard of this book sooner, particularly on an “If you love Downton Abbey, you will love this book” list. Well, it happens that I do fancy Downton Abbey, and I love the upstairs/downstairs story line, so this was a good read for me and as good as any airport impulse purchase can be.

Joan Skraggs is 14, and before her mother passed away, she had big plans for Joan to get out of her current life and become a teacher. Joan’s path turns out to be a little different than her mother intended. She does pave a way to a better life for herself, ends up surrounded by people who care about her. As well as a world and society that she did not even think possible – all while learning acceptance, patience and the power of books.

What I loved about this book was the importance that many people played in the raising up of this young girl – she needed support, guidance, a mother-like figure, and friendship. All of these things were found in unexpected ways and through unexpected sources.

For lovers or Anne of Green Gables, and Downton Abbey (as previously mentioned), this will be a good read.


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