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This is such a great novel! I loved being in this world and Molly is such a fantastic protagonist—she felt like a real person to me. I thought her growth and journey were very rewarding to read.
And there were some twists that got me! For my thoughts about the twists and ending, check out my spoiler-filled discussion here. I’m so curious about what you all think about the final reveals.
Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.
Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection.
But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?
A Clue-like, locked-room mystery and a heartwarming journey of the spirit, The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different—and reveals that all mysteries can be solved through connection to the human heart.
Book Club Questions for The Maid
- Let’s first talk in-depth about Molly. It appears she’s on the autism spectrum, although it’s never specifically said. What are your thoughts about Molly, her interactions with others and how you feel about her as a protagonist as a whole?
- Why was working in the maid service industry the right fit for Molly?
- Molly’s Gran helped interpret the world for her. How did things change for Molly after her Gran passed away?
- Who did you first think was responsible for Mr. Black’s death?
- Why was Molly the main suspect?
- Why did Giselle take a special interest in Molly? Do you believe they were truly friends? Why did Molly tell Giselle to leave the country after the arrest of Rodney?
- How did this experience—being the number one murder suspect to opening herself up to newfound friends—help Molly grow and understand actions by others a bit more?
- What are your thoughts about the romance with Juan Manuel?
- Who was your favorite side character and why?
- So the big twist is that Molly knew more than she let on. Mr. Black’s first wife is the one who killed him. Why did Molly cover up for Mrs. Black? What was behind the sort-of kinship Molly felt with Mrs. Black?
- What did you think about the ending overall? What’s next for Molly?
- How do you interpret the quote we are all the same in different ways?
- What were some of your other favorite Gran quotes?
- Florence Pugh will star in the film version of this novel. What do you think about the casting?
Hope you enjoyed book club questions for The Maid! Here are some more recommendations along with links to book club questions.
The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict
The Maid has some Agatha Christie vibes and one of the biggest mysteries involving the famous author is with what really happened when she disappeared for 11 days. I thought The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict took such an interesting spin on what might have happened during that time.
In December 1926, Agatha Christie goes missing. Investigators find her empty car on the edge of a deep, gloomy pond, the only clues some tire tracks nearby and a fur coat left in the car—strange for a frigid night. Her World War I veteran husband and her daughter have no knowledge of her whereabouts, and England unleashes an unprecedented manhunt to find the up-and-coming mystery author. Eleven days later, she reappears, just as mysteriously as she disappeared, claiming amnesia and providing no explanations for her time away.
The puzzle of those missing eleven days has persisted. With her trademark historical fiction exploration into the shadows of the past, acclaimed author Marie Benedict brings us into the world of Agatha Christie, imagining why such a brilliant woman would find herself at the center of such murky historical mysteries.
What is real, and what is mystery? What role did her unfaithful husband play, and what was he not telling investigators?
Agatha Christie novels have withstood the test of time, due in no small part to Christie’s masterful storytelling and clever mind that may never be matched, but Agatha Christie’s untold history offers perhaps her greatest mystery of all.
Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty
If you haven’t ready Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty yet—I highly recommend it! There’s also a mystery but it’s very much a character study too.
If your mother was missing, would you tell the police? Even if the most obvious suspect was your father?
This is the dilemma facing the four grown Delaney siblings.
The Delaneys are fixtures in their community. The parents, Stan and Joy, are the envy of all of their friends. They’re killers on the tennis court, and off it their chemistry is palpable. But after fifty years of marriage, they’ve finally sold their famed tennis academy and are ready to start what should be the golden years of their lives. So why are Stan and Joy so miserable?
The four Delaney children—Amy, Logan, Troy, and Brooke—were tennis stars in their own right, yet as their father will tell you, none of them had what it took to go all the way. But that’s okay, now that they’re all successful grown-ups and there is the wonderful possibility of grandchildren on the horizon.
One night a stranger named Savannah knocks on Stan and Joy’s door, bleeding after a fight with her boyfriend. The Delaneys are more than happy to give her the small kindness she sorely needs. If only that was all she wanted.
Later, when Joy goes missing, and Savannah is nowhere to be found, the police question the one person who remains: Stan. But for someone who claims to be innocent, he, like many spouses, seems to have a lot to hide. Two of the Delaney children think their father is innocent, two are not so sure—but as the two sides square off against each other in perhaps their biggest match ever, all of the Delaneys will start to reexamine their shared family history in a very new light.
Let me know below your thoughts on The Maid!