BookBrowse Reviews Heartland by Sarah Smarsh

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Heartland

A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth

by Sarah Smarsh

Heartland by Sarah Smarsh X
Heartland by Sarah Smarsh
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  • Published:
    Sep 2018, 304 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Rebecca Renner
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Smarsh details her family's struggles and dissects the social and political causes and effects of poverty in America.

Sarah Smarsh is the first woman in many generations of her family to rise above cyclical poverty and the conditions that perpetuate it. In Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, which has been long-listed for the National Book Award, Smarsh recounts not only her own early life in poverty, but also the lives of the generations leading up to her own. For women, cyclical poverty means marrying and having children at a young age, which was true for Smarsh's mother and her grandmother. Poverty also means surviving on low wages, always just barely scraping by to the next paycheck and with no extra to spend on any of the means others may use to get ahead. This was true for her family too.

Driven by her family's backbone of self-sufficiency, Smarsh managed to become the first in her family to go to college. There, she came up against a ...

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Beyond the Book:
  Poverty is Expensive

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