The Maid's Daughter by Mary Romero
Living Inside and Outside the American Dream

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 4 Critic Reviews



At a very young age, Olivia left her family and traditions in Mexico to live with her mother, Carmen, in one of Los Angeles’s most exclusive and nearly all-white gated communities.  Based on over twenty years of research, noted scholar Mary Romero brings Olivia’s remarkable story to life. We watch as she struggles through adolescence, declares her independence and eventually goes off to college and becomes a successful professional. Much of her extraordinary story is told in Olivia’s voice and we hear of both her triumphs and her setbacks.
In The Maid’s Daughter, Mary Romero explores this 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. Romero points to the hidden costs of paid domestic labor that are transferred to the families of private household workers and nannies, and shows how everyday routines are important in maintaining and assuring that various forms of privilege are passed on from one generation to another. Through Olivia’s story, Romero shows how mythologies of meritocracy, the land of opportunity, and the American dream remain firmly in place while simultaneously erasing injustices and the struggles of the working poor. 


About Mary Romero

See more books from this Author
Mary Romero is Professor of Justice Studies at Arizona University. She is the author or editor of many books, including Maid in the U.S.A. In 2012, she was awarded the Julian Samora Distinguished Career Award by the Latino/Latina Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association.
Published September 1, 2011 by NYU Press. 278 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Children's Books. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Maid's Daughter

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Olivia was the American-born daughter of a Mexican woman named Carmen who had originally come to the United States to find work that would allow her to support family members that lived south of the border.

| Read Full Review of The Maid's Daughter: Living I...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Romero, professor of justice and social inquiry at Arizona State University, offers the culmination of two decades of research in her scholarly sociological portrait of class, race, and family as she follows Olivia Salazar, daughter of a maid, Carmen, employed by a wealthy family in Los Angeles.

Jun 13 2011 | Read Full Review of The Maid's Daughter: Living I...

New York Journal of Books

See more reviews from this publication

Romero delicately reconstructs the lives she studies as part and parcel of a larger social context that makes sense within the American hierarchy of class structure.The critical people in The Maid’s Daughter: Living Inside and Outside the American Dream are Olivia and her mother Carmen, who are p...

Sep 01 2011 | Read Full Review of The Maid's Daughter: Living I...

Washington Independent Review of Books

As she relates her experiences to Romero, Olivia struggles to sort out who she is and how to juggle the influence of her mother’s middle-class employers with her growing awareness of the social injustice experienced by Latino immigrants.

Sep 07 2011 | Read Full Review of The Maid's Daughter: Living I...

Reader Rating for The Maid's Daughter

An aggregated and normalized score based on 5 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review