Heartland by Sarah Smarsh

Heartland

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 Smarsh’s turbulent childhood in Kansas in the 1980s and 1990s, the forces of cyclical poverty and the country’s changing economic policies solidified her family’s place among the working poor. By telling the story of her life and the lives of ...


Details Heartland

TitleHeartland
ISBN9781501133091
Author
Release DateSep 18th, 2018
PublisherScribner
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Biography
Rating

Reviews Heartland

  • Paul
    1970-01-01
    Heartland belongs on the shelf next to books like Desmond’s Evicted, Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy, and Ehrenreich’s Nickle and Dimed. Smarsh’s book provides a strong voice for and about breaking the destructive cycles of families, the economics of class, and the fact that birth should not be the reigning mark of future prospects. Smarsh is a talented writer who tells the story of her grandparents, parents, and extended family with clarity and ...
  • Brad
    1970-01-01
    As a lifelong Kansan who came from a working class family in Topeka but knew nothing of the life of the rural parts of my state, I declare this essential reading. Essential not just for Kansans like me, but for so many who have no idea what rural poverty looks like. Sarah Smarsh recounts the story of her family--most notably the women who held the family together--while also weaving it into the larger dynamics of an increasingly crueler American ...
  • Janilyn Kocher
    1970-01-01
    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 fort...
  • Kayo
    1970-01-01
    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 hadno bearing on the rating I gave it.
  • Stephanie
    1970-01-01
    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 t...
  • Casey Wheeler
    1970-01-01
    I received a free Kindle copy of Heartland by Sarah Smarsh courtesy of Net Galley  and Scribner, the publisher. It was with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my fiction book review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus pages.I requested this book as  I  work in a nonprofit and the subject of the book deals with poverty which is important in ...
  • Brandi
    1970-01-01
    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 ...
  • Laurie's Lit Picks
    1970-01-01
    For those of you who loved My Name is Lucy Barton, or Nickled and Dimed, or Hillbilly Elegy, you will need to add this book to your TBR pile. Debut author Sarah Smarsh chronicles her life, and generations of her family, as they try and survive living and toiling in Kansas during the past century. The difference in this story for me was the fact that it is told from a female perspective, as well as focusing on the matriarchal struggles of generati...
  • Mara
    1970-01-01
    This book is so timely for our moment that it is almost hard to believe that the author began working on it more than a decade ago. Beautifully told, this memoir chronicles one family's life and times in Kansas as wheat farmers, trying to find their own American dream in a world where their true options were very limited. Class is such a no-no for American discourse, but these kinds of stories remind us why this must change. I found I had difficu...
  • Mainlinebooker
    1970-01-01
    Being a linear person, I found it hard to focus on thematic issues versus chronological time.This, however, was not a huge detraction from this earnest and engaging story of growing up in in heartbeat of Kansas, moving more than 20 times in her childhood, and descending rom a long list of teenage mothers. She clearly delineates how economic circumstances of the area helped shape the value that society ascribed to them. However, this was a story a...
  • Kelli
    1970-01-01
    I would like to thank the publisher for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.I feel like I need to put a disclaimer on this review that I am not a totally self centered being but I may have enjoyed the bits about home a little more than someone who didn't grow up in the area. I grew up within a few miles of her Grandparents' farm, we were almost as poor and even have some Smarsh relatives. Our Sma...
  • Jaime
    1970-01-01
    A riveting blend of journalism and research and memoir, this book should be required reading for everyone. That being said, I did want more from it. I thought it would be more of her story, but much of it is her family’s story. She skims over much of her own internal struggle and story, and almost talks around things sometimes. Her college experience is described briefly and perfunctorily. I wanted more (any) of her graduate school experience, ...
  • Ashley
    1970-01-01
    So smart and thoughtful. I was disappointed reading Hillbilly Elegy - it didn't quite get the experience of growing up rural and/or poor and "getting out" and what that means and how fraught that can be - but Heartland succeeds where Hillbilly Elegy failed. Sarah Smarsh just completely gets it and engages you from start to finish with compassion and intelligence.
  • Nancy
    1970-01-01
    Read an ARC. For fans of 'Nickel and Dimed' (which I am not.)
  • Katie Rose
    1970-01-01
    Just an amazing memoir of growing up poor in rural America. Smarsh's writing is beautiful, and her insights are keen. I can't wait to buy a copy to share.
  • Tor
    1970-01-01
    Stunning.
  • Marian
    1970-01-01
    I had hoped to be keener on this one. Best feature for me were the stories of the grandmothers and mother.
  • Alice
    1970-01-01
    I received an ARC from the publisher.Sarah Smarsh led me into the world of her childhood in a way that was at once eye-opening and welcoming. As someone who grew up in Kentucky, but always lived in the suburbs, who studied animal science but switched to books and journalism, whose great-relatives farmed or worked in factories but who grew up in a solidly middle-class home, I was at least vaguely aware of the life she portrays. But I didn't realiz...
  • Patricia Baker
    1970-01-01
    read advance reader's edition to reviewso much to identify with this book..lived in Wichita for a while and yes, once I moved people would say "you don't live here" to me..tornado alley, manufacturing of airplanes and wind are all familiar subjects to me..but do not believe you have to be from Kansas to be poor..poor is all around the country. the author is right to say there is an invisible line between coming to school with store bought clothes...
  • Karin Schott
    1970-01-01
    I read an early manuscript of this memoir.Sara Smarsh examines her childhood in a poor working class family in rural Kansas through the lens of class. She tells this story to the daughter, August, she imagines she might have had if she were a young teenage mother.There were many times while reading this book that I was taken back to my own childhood. Granted I did not grow up in rural Kansas, the pride of the farmer was not imbued into the story ...
  • Marika
    1970-01-01
    Sarah Smarsh grew up not far from me, in a little Kansas town where poverty and lack of health care is a given. Who has money for those luxuries? She writes about the grind of working 6 - 7 days a week, no vacations and still the money barely covers the bills. This is real life, the true mid-west where hard work is seen as something you just do. Still, all the hours and days of working are not enough for many to rise out of the cycle of poverty a...
  • Lydia
    1970-01-01
    This book was pretty great! I liked the unique narrative from the author towards her unborn baby...I always appreciate creativity in narrative and the ability of a woman thinking outside of the regular rules and views of society!!
  • Alice
    1970-01-01
    Review to come.