The Hired Girl
by Laura Amy-Schlitz
Joan Skraggs is a 14-year-old farm girl who loves to read. After her mother dies, she hasn’t had much time for reading, and her father keeps her busy on the farm. After he burns her books, she runs away to the big city in 1919—Baltimore. She lies about her age, and takes a position in a Jewish household.
Told in epistolary form, “The Hired Girl” is made up of diary entries that chronicle Joan’s growth as a person. This novel feels like turn-of-the-century America, but the voice is timeless. Gorgeously written, “The Hired Girl” explores religion, faith, love, and the joy of literature, and discovering oneself. One of the most beautiful books written in the past ten years.