From the critically-acclaimed author of Under a Painted Sky and Outrun the Moon a powerful novel about identity, betrayal, and the meaning of family.
'A triumph of storytelling. A bold portrait of this country's past, brilliantly painted with wit, heartbreak, and unflinching honesty. Everyone needs to read this book' Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval
Jo Kuan is leading a double life. By day, she works as a quiet lady's maid, but by night, she's the voice behind the most radical advice column in 1890s Atlanta.
Jo is used to living life on the margins - invisible except for the occasional looks of disdain - 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 . . .
'[A] thrilling historical novel, blending stellar plotting and a dynamic cast of characters with well-researched details and sharp commentary on America's history of racism and prejudice' Booklist
'This deftly plotted novel shimmers with honesty, wisdom, compassion, and gorgeous writing, but it is Jo herself who shines the brightest in this sparkling tale - her keen wit, quiet courage, and growing determination. Prepare to fall headlong in love with The Downstairs Girl. I certainly did!' Robin LaFevers, New York Times bestselling author of the His Fair Assassin trilogy
'A jewel of a story. By shining a light on the lives of those whom history usually ignores, Stacey Lee gives us a marvelous gift: An entirely new and riveting look at our past' Candace Fleming, award-winning author of The Family Romanov
'Clever, funny, and poignant, The Downstairs Girl is Stacey Lee at her best' Evelyn Skye, New York Times bestselling author of The Crown's Game
'Immersive, important, and thoroughly entertaining, The Downstairs Girl sparkles with all of Stacey Lee's signature humor, charm, warmth, and wisdom' Kelly Loy Gilbert, Morris Award Finalist for Conviction
Stacey Lee is the critically acclaimed author of the novels Under a Painted Sky and Outrun the Moon, the winner of the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction. She is a fourth-generation Chinese American and a founding member of We Need Diverse Books. Born in Southern California, she graduated from UCLA and then got her law degree at UC Davis King Hall. She lives with her family outside San Francisco.
You can visit Stacey at staceyhlee.com. Or follow her on Twitter @staceyleeauthor.