HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee
Loading...

The Downstairs Girl (edition 2021)

by Stacey Lee (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6132433,183 (3.96)14
From the critically-acclaimed author of Under a Painted Sky and Outrun the Moon and founding member of We Need Diverse Books comes a powerful novel about identity, betrayal, and the meaning of family. By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady's maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, "Dear Miss Sweetie." When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society's ills, but she's not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta's most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light. With prose that is witty, insightful, and at times heartbreaking, Stacey Lee masterfully crafts an extraordinary social drama set in the New South.… (more)
Member:ccharris
Title:The Downstairs Girl
Authors:Stacey Lee (Author)
Info:G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (2021), 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:None

Work Information

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 14 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
I loved this book so much. The main character, Jo, is very inspiring. I admire her confidence and bravery. She was definitely my favorite character. I also loved the character Noemi. I loved the social topics this book used as a backdrop/discussed. They were relevant to what goes on in the world today. The book was a little bit predictable, but I still loved Stacey Lee’s writing and storytelling. I hope to check out more of Stacey Lee’s books soon. ( )
  TimeLord10SPW | Nov 30, 2022 |
Took the afternoon yesterday to read this and it was brilliant. I was hooked from page 5 and absolutely fell in love with Jo! Her wit and advice are spot on and I laughed a lot during this book. Jo is a Chinese teenager growing up during the 1890s in Atlanta. She lives underneath a house in which ones of the local newspaper is printed out of - leading her to hear some interesting things, leading her to create Miss Sweetie. Miss Sweetie is an advice column in which she writes articles as well as answers letters written to her. As life often goes, she finds herself in a predicament and the truth leads her down a path where a whole hosts of truths are revealed. The last eight chapters were my favorite. But the real secret is there isn’t a character in this book that I don’t end up loving. There’s some twist and turns and surprises that keep readers interested and wanting more! This is a brilliant book and I’d recommend it to anyone wanting a good laugh or just a good story to fall in love with at the end of the day! ( )
  dabutkus | Sep 4, 2022 |
Whether you like The Downstairs Girl or not depends on what you crave. If you crave historical fiction that will teach you, or that helps you realize the myriad of things that were going on in a certian place and time (Atlanta during the 1890s, or an imaginative author who never use trite metaphors or similes, you will love this book. Or if you want to quickly turn pages, you will be disappointed. If you want a simple plot, do not read this book. If you want an intricately spun story with plenty of mystrey, humor and many surprises, you will love it.

Jo Kuan is a Chinese American without voting rights, deStined to be a servang and doesn;t knw who her mother or father are, lives in a basement of a family with Old Gin who she thinks of as old man who adopted not offically but out of love. Chinese Americans were brought into the South after the Civil War to take over what slaves used to do but instead of no pay, they got tiny pay. You could walk or take a streetcar to work. Blacks sat the back of the streetcars, but if you were Chinese American, you didn't know where you sat or were told to gat off. They could not own or rent, where were you supposed to live; It was the start of Jim Crow laws and of cocoa cola. Women suffragettes started working towards the vote of white women. This was not a quiet oeriod of history.

I thoroughly enjoyed this peak at Atlanta in the 1890's through an Asian American young woman's eyes, ears and even her nose. ( )
  Carolee888 | May 9, 2022 |
Jo Kuan leads a double life: a public role as a quiet lady’s maid and a secret one as the voice behind the hottest advice column in 1890 Atlanta.

Chinese American Jo is mostly invisible except for occasional looks of disdain and derisive comments, and she doesn’t mind: Her priority is making sure she and her adoptive father, Chinese immigrant Old Gin, remain safe in their abandoned abolitionists’ hideaway beneath a print shop. But even if she lives on the margins, Jo has opinions of her own which she shares in her newspaper advice column under the byline “Miss Sweetie.” Suddenly all of Atlanta is talking about her ideas, though they don’t know that the witty advice on relationships, millinery, and horse races comes from a Chinese girl. As curiosity about Miss Sweetie mounts, Jo may not be able to stay hidden much longer. And as she learns more about the blurred lines and the hard truths about race in her city and her own past, maybe she doesn’t want to. In her latest work, Lee (The Secret of a Heart Note, 2016, etc.) continues to demonstrate that Chinese people were present—and had a voice—in American history. She deftly weaves historical details with Jo’s personal story of finding a voice and a place for herself in order to create a single, luminous work.

An optimistic, sophisticated portrayal of one facet of Chinese American—and simply American—history.
  CDJLibrary | Apr 29, 2022 |
I was going to give this four stars but I'm bumping it up because my mum, who is sick in bed right now, was so very charmed and entertained by this book and she never likes anything. ( )
1 vote fionaanne | Nov 11, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

From the critically-acclaimed author of Under a Painted Sky and Outrun the Moon and founding member of We Need Diverse Books comes a powerful novel about identity, betrayal, and the meaning of family. By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady's maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, "Dear Miss Sweetie." When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society's ills, but she's not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta's most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light. With prose that is witty, insightful, and at times heartbreaking, Stacey Lee masterfully crafts an extraordinary social drama set in the New South.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.96)
0.5 1
1
1.5
2 2
2.5 1
3 11
3.5 10
4 48
4.5 6
5 18

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 180,263,537 books! | Top bar: Always visible