A perfect companion to Evicted and Nickel and Dimed, Heartland reveals one woman's experience of working-class poverty with a startlingly observed, eye-opening, and topical personal story.During Sarah Smarshs turbulent childhood in Kansas in the 1980s and 1990s, the forces of cyclical poverty and the countrys changing economic policies solidified her familys place among the working poor. By telling the story of her life and the lives of the people she loves, Smarsh challenges us to look more closely at the class divide in our country and examine the myths about people thought to be less because they earn less. Her personal history affirms the corrosive impact intergenerational poverty can have on individuals, families, and communities, and she explores this idea as lived experience, metaphor, and level of consciousness.Smarsh was born a fifth generation Kansas wheat farmer on her paternal side and the product of generations of teen mothers on her maternal side. Through her experiences ...
|Title||:||Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth|
|Number of Pages||:||304 pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth Reviews
I had hoped to be keener on this one. Best feature for me were the stories of the grandmothers and mother.
I found the narrative interesting, but not compelling. I was especially put off by the device of setting the book as a story told to an unborn child. It felt artificial to me. I also bridled at the self-congratulatory nature of the conclusion. All in all, not as strong an expose as I expected.
I read this book with much anticipation after hearing the author interviewed on the New York Times Book Review Podcast. The small town upbringing, the succeeding despite difficult challenges, being the first of your clan to earn a college degree, etc., rang true with me. But I was disappointed in the execution and underwhelmed by the writing.
The contrived literary device of speaking to a never-born child, (usually out of the clear blue and without warning), was startling and distracting. It didn ...more
Heartland is a great read. I enjoyed Smarsh's family history immensely. However, I'm not buying her assertion that she grew up in poverty. I suppose my definition of poverty differs from hers. She always had a roof over her head and food to eat. Smarsh never had to live in a car or under a bridge as many people have. From my perspective, Smarsh was rich in love and perseverance that she learned from her family. Various family members spent a fortune on booze and smokes over the years, which beli ...more
Read an ARC. For fans of 'Nickel and Dimed' (which I am not.)
Wasn't what I was expecting. Not up to Nickel and Dimed, not that I compared.
Not thrilled that I could't give a review for months after I got it from Netgalley!
Thanks to author, publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free, it had
no bearing on the rating I gave it.
I like reading about lives that are very different from my own. Sarah Smarsh is a good writer, and it was interesting to learn her family history and her views on the world. But I really wish this book had been organized chronologically instead of thematically. She jumped around in time, which made it hard to keep track of her many relatives and what they were doing. And I’m not really sure what each chapter’s theme was supposed to be, since they were each so long and had multiple messages. Ther ...more
Many years ago, I read Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed and it knocked my socks off. When I saw Sarah Smarsh’s Heartland had been favorably compared to it and recommended to people who liked it, I jumped at the opportunity (provided by Scribner and NetGalley) to read it in exchange for my honest review.
First of all, thanks a LOT, Sarah! I was awake most of the night reading, then thinking about this book! Like The Glass Castle, so many things in it resonated strongly with me while it both e ...more