The Downstairs Girl
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The Downstairs Girl



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A Reese Witherspoon YA Book Club Pick!

A New York Times bestselling novel, The Downstairs Girl is a compelling and poignant story following seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan, a Chinese American girl living in segregated 1890s Atlanta.

'Everyone needs to read this book' Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval

'A jewel of a story. By shining a light on the lives of those whom history usually ignores, Stacey Lee gives us a marvellous gift: an entirely new and riveting look at our past' Candace Fleming, award-winning author of The Family Romanov

Seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan is leading a double life. By day, she works as a lady's maid, navigating life on the margins of a society determined that a person's worth is measured by the colour of their skin. By night, she's the voice behind the most radical advice column in 1890s Atlanta.

Jo is used to feeling invisible, but she won't let it hold her back. While her priority is making sure that she and her father, Old Gin, remain safe in their hideaway beneath a print shop, she still has ambition. And strong opinions of her own that she begins to share in a newspaper advice column under the pseudonym 'Miss Sweetie'. Suddenly, all of Atlanta is talking about her ideas, although little do they know that the witty advice comes from a penniless Chinese girl.

As curiosity about Miss Sweetie mounts, Jo's secret identity may not stay secret for much longer. And as she learns more of the hard truths about her identity and her country, she must find the courage to decide between being herself or staying invisible . . .

Praise for The Downstairs Girl

'Immersive, important, and thoroughly entertaining, The Downstairs Girl sparkles with all of Stacey Lee's signature humour, charm, warmth, and wisdom' Kelly Loy Gilbert, Morris Award Finalist for Conviction

'A gorgeously researched, feminist historical novel' Melissa Albert, bestselling author of The Hazel Wood

'This vividly rendered historic novel will keep readers riveted as witty, observant Jo deals with the dangers of questioning power' The Washington Post

'I couldn't put it down. It was so much fun. Stacey writes great historical fiction centring people of colour' Camryn Garrett, author of Full Disclosure

'[A] thrilling historical novel' Booklist

'A detailed and vibrant picture of life in the past' The New York Times

'Clever, funny, and poig


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12.4 x 3.2 x 19.6 cm



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