Domestic Workers in the US: Background information when reading See What I Have Done

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See What I Have Done

by Sarah Schmidt

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt X
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2017, 324 pages
    Jun 12, 2018, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Domestic Workers in the US

Bridget, the Borden family's Irish maid in See What I Have Done, is a young woman who came to the United States with visions of making a decent living and maybe one day getting married. Sadly, young immigrant women with limited skills and education were more often than not put to work as domestic help. Sadder still, with no union or legislative champion to protect them from abuse and overwork, these women were often mistreated by their employers.

The Chocolate GirlMaids, nannies and housekeepers have a long, disheartening history that doesn't show signs of too much improvement. Once upon a time, even families of limited means, such as those portrayed in mid-18th century novels of Wharton, Alcott and Dickens, had domestic help. They would just as soon sell family heirlooms as try to get along without someone to cook, clean and help them dress. These employees usually lived in separate but attached quarters so they could be on call 24/7. Room and board were considered part of their ...

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