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Discussing The Maid by Nita Prose: Ending and Other Spoilers

Discussing The Maid by Nita Prose: Ending and Other Spoilers

Let’s talk about the ending and other key twists from The Maid by Nita Prose.

Welcome to the spoiler discussion for The Maid! If you’re looking for a spoiler-free review, check out mine here. For book clubs looking for discussion questions, you can find that here.

I really enjoyed The Maid! I thought it was quite charming in many ways, which is not how you typically describe a murder mystery. I rooted for Molly throughout her journey and I really enjoyed her character development.

Overall, it’s a clever and entertaining read. Like all murder mysteries, this one features quite a few twists. And they were surprising!

First, a quick synopsis: Molly Gray is a maid at a five-star hotel. She has trouble interpreting the intentions of others and struggles in social settings. But she takes great pride in her work. Molly’s life is upended the day she enters the suite where she finds a famous guest is dead. Molly’s unusual demeanor results in her becoming the lead suspect. She’ll eventually work with a cast of characters to help clear her name.

The Big Reveals

Spoilers from here on out!

It initially appears that the mystery is fairly cut-and-dried. Rodney, the head bartender, ran a drug cartel at the hotel. He murdered Mr. Black. Case close.

But it wasn’t.

It turns out while Rodney is a very bad dude, he did not actually kill Mr. Black. It was Mr. Black’s first wife, the original Mrs. Black. I have to say, I was very surprised by this reveal! I had assumed it was Rodney all along.

I did reread a couple sections and the author does give hints that Molly knows more than what she’s letting on—to both the police and the reader.

For instance, toward the end, when Detective Stark clears Molly of all charges and says Rodney will go to jail for a long time, Molly says: “That seems appropriate. He’s a liar, an abuser, and a cheat.”

“He’s also a murderer,” Mr. Preston adds.

I say nothing.

On my initial read, I didn’t put much stock in that. But now, I can see she clearly knew Rodney did not commit the murder and also did not volunteer that information.

And when rereading Molly’s time on the stand, she never explicitly says she saw Rodney but implies it in a somewhat discreet way. Molly claims she simply told her version of the truth and how people interpret it, is up to them. But I think she knew what she was doing.

Molly and Gran

I truly enjoyed the dynamic and relationship between Molly and her gran. It was so sweet and lovely—well to a certain point in the book. I will say, Molly’s actions revealed at the end kind of clouded it for me a bit.

Gran’s pain became absolutely unbearable and they didn’t have the money to keep up with the pain prescriptions as needed or more hospital stays. So gran asked Molly to, I don’t know how else to say it, assist with her death. Molly put the remaining pills in her tea and then used gran’s pillow to suffocate her.

Again, this was gran’s idea and she pushed Molly to do it. But agh, that whole ordeal left me with a weird feeling!

A strange story choice, in my opinion. I get that this action helped with her eventual connection to Mrs. Black. But I don’t know, it was way out of left field for me. What are your thoughts about it?

The Ending

Mr. Black was a cheater, abuser and a criminal so no one was sad to see him gone. What happened the day of his murder is that Mrs. Black went to confront him and Mr. Black was pretty much drugged out but still managed to grab her by the wrists so hard that she would get bruises.

He eventually stumbled into bed and laid down. And that’s when Mrs. Black suffocated him with the pillow.

Upon this reveal, she says to Molly, “In my experience, there are times when a good person must do something that’s not quite right, but it’s still the right thing to do.”

This resonated with Molly as gran asked her to assist with her death, and while it was a horrible thing to ask, Molly felt it was the right thing to do for gran in the end. Molly says to herself, “mercy takes unexpected forms.”

Between that and the acknowledgement that many bad people seem to go free while they continue to hurt good people, Molly decided not to report that Mrs. Black was the actual murderer.

Tell Me Your Thoughts

I thought the twists was interesting—both the fact that Mrs. Black was the real murderer and that Molly knew all along. It showed Molly was more perceptive than she let on.

But still a bit strange regarding Molly’s actions with her gran’s death. And that’s one reason she bonded with Mrs. Black. It’s certainly a twist but an odd one at that.

One more item to point out that it seems Mr. Preston is actually Molly’s grandfather! I wonder why that was only heavily implied but Molly did not seem aware of it. Maybe a sequel is in store?

Still, I did very much enjoy the story, even if a couple parts were a little clunky.

What are your thoughts about the novel? Were you surprised by the twists? What do you hope to see in the movie version? Let me know below!

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Kristin

Saturday 14th of May 2022

Why did Molly say that the reflection of Mrs Black in the mirror reminded her of herself and her Gran... it made me think that Mrs Black was her mum. But Gran had cried because Molly's mum had died, so that bit was unclear to me and I wanted a little more clarification.

Heather

Saturday 14th of May 2022

@Kristin, Oh wow, that would be an interesting twist if Mrs. Black was indeed her mother!

I do think this section was a bit confusing overall. My interpretation was that Molly felt a kinship with Mrs. Black as she used a pillow as well (as per Gran's request). It's bizarre though and I would be curious if the author will give more insight into this once the book has been out long enough. Or maybe the film version will make it more clear.

Janice T

Monday 2nd of May 2022

I read this book in one day! Could not put it down! I'm still considering the ending, though. It occurred to me that Molly may have killed Mr. Black (which doesn't make me love her any less!) My thoughts...when Mr. Preston says in addition to Rodney being a liar, an abuser and a cheat, he is also a murderer, Molly chooses to say nothing. Is she protecting the first Mrs. Black? Getting revenge on Rodney? Maybe; or is she protecting herself? Also, Mr. Black and Gran die in interestingly similar ways. Both, weakened by drugs/medication, are then suffocated. Coincidence? Maybe; but Molly is the common denominator in each case. The book seems to be clear that Rodney is the murderer of Mr. Black, as do most of the reviews/comments I've read. But still...

Heather

Tuesday 3rd of May 2022

@Janice T, Oh gosh, that is so interesting!! I did wonder why there was such a focus on how Mr. Black and Gran did die in similar ways. I took it that Molly felt a somewhat kinship with Mrs. Black (who I had assumed murdered Mr. Black) but now I do wonder if it was actually Molly in the end. I'm going to have to re-read that section now! What a great book.

Lynn Leaders

Monday 18th of April 2022

I just finished "The Maid" last night. I couldn't even go to bed until I had finished. I am a prolific reader and have read every night before bed my entire life. I am a retired Elementary School Principal and have always tried to teach my students to be lifelong readers. It was a fabulous book. Having a son who was on the autism spectrum, but very well spoken and articulate I could see how some of Molly's behaviors and her innocent take on reality could be misconstrued to others. My son graduated college and lives independently. His take on reality and his inability to read nuances or facial cues has always been something I have tried to teach him to do. He has never been able to understand if something is literal or not. Everything is literal to him. I was captivated by Molly. I have to say that the two twists at the end were surprising. The serenity prayer and Gram was a little hard for me. I live with my 90 year old Mom and have been talking about the book constantly, but after that chapter I am not sure if she could handle that part. Very interesting take. The end with her helping Giselle was perfect. I wondered if Preston was, in fact, Molly's Grandfather but I couldn't feature that he wouldn't have stayer with her. Then the part with Ms. Black the first wife was a twist and I tried to see if I was missing something. Part of me thinks the first Ms. Black was there, part of me thinks it was Molly with the pillow. I plan to read back through to be sure and see if I missed something. Excellent book and I can't wait to read more of your work. I couldn't believe that it was her first novel. Thanks for the review and it was a fabulous read.

Heather

Sunday 1st of May 2022

@Lynn Leaders, Hi Lynn! Thank you for your thoughtful comment and sharing a bit of your story as well. Very nice to meet you! I'm really glad to hear the novel resonated with you. I also agree that the twist with Gram was hard to read—I love the novel but I wish that was handled in a different way. And what an interesting point about whether it truly was Mrs. Black or was it Molly with the pillow...I took away that it was Mrs. Black but I'll have to reread it!