The Maid’s Desire:
Living Inside and Outside the American Dream
New York University Press
In her revealing new book, sociologist Mary Romero follows the life of Olivia, the daughter of a domestic worker for an affluent family. Olivia lives with her mother in the “maid’s room” but is raised alongside the family’s children. The result is a complex story about belonging, identity, and resistance, illustrating Olivia’s challenge to establish her sense of identity and the patterns of inclusion and exclusion in her life. Through Olivia’s story, Romero shows how the mythologies of meritocracy, the land of opportunity, and the American dream remain firmly in place while simultaneously obscuring injustices and the struggles of the working poor.