Author(s): Fiona Mitchell
'A modern-day The Help' - Emerald Street
'It's a book to read and then read again.' The Book Bag
'I loved The Maid's Room with its exquisite writing, married with a shocking and powerful story line that had me gripped and moved until the uplifting conclusion.' Katie Marsh, author of A Life Without You and This Beautiful Life
'A beautifully written and deeply moving novel . . . crafted with a mixture of grim detail, dark humour and poignancy, at times it's hard to believe that this book is a work of fiction. Genuinely excellent. *****' Heat
'This is where she sleeps. A cupboard. A bedroom. A windowless box.'
Sisters Dolly and Tala have never felt further from home. In the blistering heat of Singapore, they spend their days enabling ex-pats to have lives they could never afford for themselves.
Even though she has little freedom, Dolly can just about live with her job if it means she's able to support her beloved young daughter back in the Philippines. One day - if she's lucky - Dolly may even be able to go back and see her.
Tala, however, just can't keep her mouth shut about the restrictive, archaic rules maids are forced to abide by on pain of deportation. She risks everything to help her fellow maids, who have struggled to have their voices heard for far too long.
In a world where domestic workers are treated so poorly, The Maid's Room explores how women can come together to change each other's lives, and be the architects of their own futures.
British journalist Fiona Mitchell's fiction debut plunges into the claustrophobic existence of foreign domestic workers in Singapore, but injects these difficult stories with heart and humour * Straits Times * An unflinching tale of class divide hits hard . . . There are parallels to The Help by Kathryn Stockett . . . This book, though, is set in the current century, which makes the world it describes all the more shocking . . . A great novel for book clubs * Nicky Pellegrino, New Zealand Woman's Weekly * The detail is what makes this one shine and despite the topic, it is an exhilarating and hopeful read. A promising debut * Image Magazine * The details are shocking, but there's laughter and inspiration to be found here, too * Good Housekeeping * From the moment you start reading this novel comparisons with The Help are inevitable . . . The story is well put together with some compelling characters . . . It is a story that needs to be told and I do hope as many people as possible read it. * Bookphace * Debut novelist Mitchell makes a serious point about the where the boundaries of modern slavery lie but it's also a book suffused with joyful, lighter moments. Dolly and Tala are vibrantly drawn and it's so evocative of the stifling humidity of the city, you'll need a shower afterwards. * Muddy Stilettos * This is an insight into expat life that I wasn't expecting . . . The tone may be light, but the message is not. * The Pool * The Maid's Room by Fiona Mitchell is a stunning debut, rich in detail, drawn from the shadows of modern-day slavery in Singapore . . . The perfect read for the coming winter nights. * Ruby Speechley Book Blog * Mitchell's background in journalism gives her characters an authentic voice and the writing style is both informative and compelling. It is a book that deals with some difficult issues, but there is also plenty of humour along the way, and a feeling of hope that makes it both heartbreaking and uplifting . . . [The Maid's Room] had me gripped and also opened my eyes to the struggles faced by domestic workers in Singapore and around the world. * The Owl on the Bookshelf Blog * The Maid's Room is a book brimming with hope, kindness and humour. Sad yet joyous, shocking yet compelling. A sharp, truthful and exquisitely told tale. I loved it - I think everyone should read this book! * Ronnie Turner Book Blog * A fascinating, thought-provoking and sometimes heart-breaking look at the wealthy ex-pat lifestyle in Singapore and the exploited women who look after the children, take care of the expensive homes and live in tiny rooms along with the cleaning supplies. * Red Magazine * The Maid's Room pulls no punches in bringing home the message that migrant workers are treated shockingly, but also recognises that the women employing these maids are often living unhappy lives too, albeit in the luxury their money provides . . . there is humour in the book and uplifting moments which restore some faith in human nature. Essentially though this is a book with a strong message about the exploitation of migrant workers, which will leave you questioning the way the rich treat the poor. * On Magazine * A beautifully written debut that's both moving and humorous with characters I truly cared about. I loved everything about it! * Claire Douglas, Sunday Times bestselling author of LOCAL GIRL MISSING and LAST SEEN ALIVE * I loved The Maid's Room with its exquisite writing, married with a shocking and powerful story line that had me gripped and moved until the uplifting conclusion. A fascinating read about survival and the strength and resilience of the human heart. * Katie Marsh, author of A LIFE WITHOUT YOU and THIS BEAUTIFUL LIFE * Fiona Mitchell's debut lifts the lid on life as a female domestic worker in Singapore . . . Touching * Grazia * It's informative, but there's a darned good story there too. I was completely tied up in the mystery of which of the employers was writing the blog detailing all the ways you should keep your servant in check and my heart was in my mouth for Tala and Dolly on more than one occasion. It's a book to read and then read again so that you can appreciate all the nuances. * The Book Bag * A brilliant and eye-opening read * Prima * Heartbreaking but uplifting read * Candis * A beautifully written and deeply moving novel . . . crafted with a mixture of grim detail, dark humour and poignancy, at times it's hard to believe that this book is a work of fiction. Genuinely excellent. ***** * Heat * Passionate . . . This powerful novel is pretty bleak, but there are sunny patches and plenty of breezy satire. It paints an unforgettable picture of how, in the here and now, some haves can treat the have-nots. You'll be rooting for feisty Tala all the way * Daily Mail * A modern-day The Help * Emerald Street *
This is Fiona Mitchell's first novel. Inspired by the author's own experience of life in Singapore and extensive research, it is an eye-opening novel about life as a maid; a universal issue affecting us all. There are now 230,000 female domestic workers in Singapore and an estimated 53 million people working as domestic helpers across the globe - a quarter of these are afforded no legal rights at all.