Shelf life

THIS WEEK: Fiona Mitchell ex­plores life as a fe­male do­mes­tic day worker in Sin­ga­pore – and we sug­gest other heart­felt nov­els with global ap­peal

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The Maid’s Room Fiona Mitchell (£ 16.99, HOD­DER & STOUGHTON, OUT 16 NOVEM­BER)

DRAW­ING COM­PAR­ISONS be­tween The Help and The In­ven­tion Of Wings, Fiona Mitchell’s de­but lifts the lid on life as a fe­male do­mes­tic day worker in Sin­ga­pore. It’s a top­i­cal is­sue: there are now 53 mil­lion fe­male do­mes­tic work­ers around the globe – a quar­ter with no rights at all. Fol­low­ing two Filip­ina maids – sis­ters Dolly and Tala – it’s based on Fiona’s own ex­pe­ri­ence of life in Sin­ga­pore and ex­ten­sive re­search as an award-win­ning writer and jour­nal­ist. The eye-open­ing jour­ney of the sis­ters, who meet Bri­tish ex-pat Jules (a for­mer mid­wife), is touch­ing through­out and, at times, hard to read.

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