The Downstairs Girl

· Sold by Penguin
4.5
42 reviews
Ebook
384
Pages
Eligible

About this ebook

A Reese's Book Club YA Pick and New York Times Bestseller

From the critically acclaimed author of Luck of the Titanic, Under a Painted Sky, and Outrun the Moon comes a powerful novel about identity, betrayal, and the meaning of family.

By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady's maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, "Dear Miss Sweetie." When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society's ills, but she's not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta's most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light. With prose that is witty, insightful, and at times heartbreaking, Stacey Lee masterfully crafts an extraordinary social drama set in the New South.

"This vividly rendered historic novel will keep readers riveted as witty, observant Jo deals with the dangers of questioning power." --The Washington Post

"Holds a mirror to our present issues while giving us a detailed and vibrant picture of life in the past." --The New York Times

"A joyful read . . . The Downstairs Girl, for all its serious and timely content, is a jolly good time." --NPR
4.5
42 reviews
marti furman
August 28, 2022
great read, somewhat predictable, but well written. I enjoyed it very much.
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August 13, 2021
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Third-party review
I was going to give this four stars but I'm bumping it up because my mum, who is sick in bed right now, was so very charmed and entertained by this book and she never likes anything.

About the author

Stacey Lee is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels The Downstairs Girl, Luck of the Titanic, Under a Painted Sky and Outrun the Moon, the winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction and the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. She is a fourth-generation Chinese American and a founding member of We Need Diverse Books. Born in Southern California, she graduated from UCLA and then got her law degree at UC Davis King Hall. She lives with her family outside San Francisco. You can visit Stacey at staceyhlee.com. Or follow her on Twitter @staceyleeauthor.

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