Ari Reviews: The Downstairs Girl – Stacey Lee

The Downstairs Girl is set in 19th century Atlanta, Georgia that tells the story about a young seventeen-year-old girl named Jo Kuan. Jo and her guardian Old Gin live secretly under Mr. Bell’s house who is a publisher for the newspaper called “The Focus” that is not doing so well with publications and public interest. When Jo loses her job as a milliner’s assistant, she is assigned to take a job as a lady’s maid for Mrs. Payne’s daughter Caroline. Jo experiences a lot of hardships in dealing with Caroline in her new position being her lady’s maid. Jo secretly takes on the role of being a columnist for Mr. Bell’s paper and writes under the secret identity as Miss Sweetie. Jo’s role as Miss Sweetie expresses her voice in sharing how society acts and exposes how prejudices play a big factor in areas of the city with its people. Jo’s secret identity raises a lot of questions as Mr. Bell’s paper becomes more popular due to her publications in the column. Jo’s journey in the book gives young adult readers a mystery in solving her past and will she be able to figure out her past and overcome the struggles she endures and find her place in the world. Will Jo’s identity be discovered? Will she be able to figure out her past history? Read more to find out what Jo’s journey brings in the rest of the book.  This book had a lot of adventure, mystery, and coming of age themes. I highly recommend this book for young adult readers who enjoy historical fiction and a great mystery book.