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

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

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 A perfect companion to Evicted and Nickel and Dimed, Heartland reveals one woman's experience of working-class ...

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Title:Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth
Author:Sarah Smarsh
Rating:
Genres:Nonfiction
ISBN:Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth
ISBN
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:304 pages pages

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

  • Mainlinebooker
    Aug 10, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

    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 tim...

    Strong initial effort by author Sarah Smart combines memoir with facts and figures to further explain her family?s hardships over the last century. This combination approach is a difficult one to pull off because readers are constantly pulled from the engaging family narrative and fl...

    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 exc...

    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 ...

    In a sense it's a shame that this book is being marketed as a window into understanding the white working class. Lumping this title in with crappy, moralistic screeds (I'm thinking mainly here of Hillbilly Elegy) in order to sell more books doesn't do Smarsh's work justice. It's a beau...

    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 Facebo...

    I had hoped to be keener on this one. Best feature for me were the stories of the grandmothers and mother. ...

    From the moment I head about this book I knew I had to read it, because I knew in a sense it would be a book about me and my people. Other than Julene Bair's One Degree West, there aren't many books about what it is like growing up in rural Kansas, "flyover country." At one point Sa...

    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 pa...

    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 ...

    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...

  • Clif Hostetler
    Sep 24, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

  • Stephanie
    Jul 21, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

    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 tim...

    Strong initial effort by author Sarah Smart combines memoir with facts and figures to further explain her family?s hardships over the last century. This combination approach is a difficult one to pull off because readers are constantly pulled from the engaging family narrative and fl...

    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 exc...

  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)
    Oct 16, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

  • Jaime
    Jul 15, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

    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 tim...

    Strong initial effort by author Sarah Smart combines memoir with facts and figures to further explain her family?s hardships over the last century. This combination approach is a difficult one to pull off because readers are constantly pulled from the engaging family narrative and fl...

    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 exc...

    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 ...

    In a sense it's a shame that this book is being marketed as a window into understanding the white working class. Lumping this title in with crappy, moralistic screeds (I'm thinking mainly here of Hillbilly Elegy) in order to sell more books doesn't do Smarsh's work justice. It's a beau...

    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 Facebo...

    I had hoped to be keener on this one. Best feature for me were the stories of the grandmothers and mother. ...

    From the moment I head about this book I knew I had to read it, because I knew in a sense it would be a book about me and my people. Other than Julene Bair's One Degree West, there aren't many books about what it is like growing up in rural Kansas, "flyover country." At one point Sa...

    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 pa...

    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 ...

    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...

    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 disa...

    You might think that a book about growing up on a poor Kansas farm would qualify as ?sociology,? and Heartland certainly does ? But this book is so much more than even the best sociology. It is poetry ? of the wind and snow, the two-lane roads running through the wheat, the sum...

    "Dear August, I heard a voice unlike the ones in my house or on the news that told me my place in the world. It was your voice: a quiet and constant presence, felt more often than heard." And so begins the beautiful "memoir" that Sarah Smarsh wrote about growing up in rural Kansas ...

    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 e...

    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 m...

    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 sto...

  • Kate
    Oct 14, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

    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 tim...

    Strong initial effort by author Sarah Smart combines memoir with facts and figures to further explain her family?s hardships over the last century. This combination approach is a difficult one to pull off because readers are constantly pulled from the engaging family narrative and fl...

    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 exc...

    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 ...

    In a sense it's a shame that this book is being marketed as a window into understanding the white working class. Lumping this title in with crappy, moralistic screeds (I'm thinking mainly here of Hillbilly Elegy) in order to sell more books doesn't do Smarsh's work justice. It's a beau...

    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 Facebo...

    I had hoped to be keener on this one. Best feature for me were the stories of the grandmothers and mother. ...

    From the moment I head about this book I knew I had to read it, because I knew in a sense it would be a book about me and my people. Other than Julene Bair's One Degree West, there aren't many books about what it is like growing up in rural Kansas, "flyover country." At one point Sa...

    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 pa...

    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 ...

    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...

    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 disa...

    You might think that a book about growing up on a poor Kansas farm would qualify as ?sociology,? and Heartland certainly does ? But this book is so much more than even the best sociology. It is poetry ? of the wind and snow, the two-lane roads running through the wheat, the sum...

    "Dear August, I heard a voice unlike the ones in my house or on the news that told me my place in the world. It was your voice: a quiet and constant presence, felt more often than heard." And so begins the beautiful "memoir" that Sarah Smarsh wrote about growing up in rural Kansas ...

    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 e...

    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 m...

    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 sto...

    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. ...

    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...

    Stunning. ...

    Read an ARC. For fans of 'Nickel and Dimed' (which I am not.) ...

    This National Book Award longlisted narrative paints a picture of several generations of women connected to the land of Southern Kansas. Smarsh weaves her family stories with the history of how U.S. economic policies have impacted the heartland and its families. This book and Robert Ka...

  • Lindsey
    Sep 24, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

    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 tim...

    Strong initial effort by author Sarah Smart combines memoir with facts and figures to further explain her family?s hardships over the last century. This combination approach is a difficult one to pull off because readers are constantly pulled from the engaging family narrative and fl...

    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 exc...

    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 ...

    In a sense it's a shame that this book is being marketed as a window into understanding the white working class. Lumping this title in with crappy, moralistic screeds (I'm thinking mainly here of Hillbilly Elegy) in order to sell more books doesn't do Smarsh's work justice. It's a beau...

    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 Facebo...

    I had hoped to be keener on this one. Best feature for me were the stories of the grandmothers and mother. ...

    From the moment I head about this book I knew I had to read it, because I knew in a sense it would be a book about me and my people. Other than Julene Bair's One Degree West, there aren't many books about what it is like growing up in rural Kansas, "flyover country." At one point Sa...

  • Alison
    Oct 02, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

    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 tim...

    Strong initial effort by author Sarah Smart combines memoir with facts and figures to further explain her family?s hardships over the last century. This combination approach is a difficult one to pull off because readers are constantly pulled from the engaging family narrative and fl...

    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 exc...

    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 ...

    In a sense it's a shame that this book is being marketed as a window into understanding the white working class. Lumping this title in with crappy, moralistic screeds (I'm thinking mainly here of Hillbilly Elegy) in order to sell more books doesn't do Smarsh's work justice. It's a beau...

  • Nancy
    May 17, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

    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 tim...

    Strong initial effort by author Sarah Smart combines memoir with facts and figures to further explain her family?s hardships over the last century. This combination approach is a difficult one to pull off because readers are constantly pulled from the engaging family narrative and fl...

    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 exc...

    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 ...

    In a sense it's a shame that this book is being marketed as a window into understanding the white working class. Lumping this title in with crappy, moralistic screeds (I'm thinking mainly here of Hillbilly Elegy) in order to sell more books doesn't do Smarsh's work justice. It's a beau...

    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 Facebo...

    I had hoped to be keener on this one. Best feature for me were the stories of the grandmothers and mother. ...

    From the moment I head about this book I knew I had to read it, because I knew in a sense it would be a book about me and my people. Other than Julene Bair's One Degree West, there aren't many books about what it is like growing up in rural Kansas, "flyover country." At one point Sa...

    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 pa...

    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 ...

    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...

    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 disa...

    You might think that a book about growing up on a poor Kansas farm would qualify as ?sociology,? and Heartland certainly does ? But this book is so much more than even the best sociology. It is poetry ? of the wind and snow, the two-lane roads running through the wheat, the sum...

    "Dear August, I heard a voice unlike the ones in my house or on the news that told me my place in the world. It was your voice: a quiet and constant presence, felt more often than heard." And so begins the beautiful "memoir" that Sarah Smarsh wrote about growing up in rural Kansas ...

    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 e...

    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 m...

    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 sto...

    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. ...

    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...

    Stunning. ...

    Read an ARC. For fans of 'Nickel and Dimed' (which I am not.) ...

  • Kelli
    Jul 25, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

    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 tim...

    Strong initial effort by author Sarah Smart combines memoir with facts and figures to further explain her family?s hardships over the last century. This combination approach is a difficult one to pull off because readers are constantly pulled from the engaging family narrative and fl...

    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 exc...

    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 ...

    In a sense it's a shame that this book is being marketed as a window into understanding the white working class. Lumping this title in with crappy, moralistic screeds (I'm thinking mainly here of Hillbilly Elegy) in order to sell more books doesn't do Smarsh's work justice. It's a beau...

    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 Facebo...

    I had hoped to be keener on this one. Best feature for me were the stories of the grandmothers and mother. ...

    From the moment I head about this book I knew I had to read it, because I knew in a sense it would be a book about me and my people. Other than Julene Bair's One Degree West, there aren't many books about what it is like growing up in rural Kansas, "flyover country." At one point Sa...

    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 pa...

    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 ...

    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...

    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 disa...

    You might think that a book about growing up on a poor Kansas farm would qualify as ?sociology,? and Heartland certainly does ? But this book is so much more than even the best sociology. It is poetry ? of the wind and snow, the two-lane roads running through the wheat, the sum...

    "Dear August, I heard a voice unlike the ones in my house or on the news that told me my place in the world. It was your voice: a quiet and constant presence, felt more often than heard." And so begins the beautiful "memoir" that Sarah Smarsh wrote about growing up in rural Kansas ...

    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 e...

    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 m...

  • Marian
    Aug 15, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

    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 tim...

    Strong initial effort by author Sarah Smart combines memoir with facts and figures to further explain her family?s hardships over the last century. This combination approach is a difficult one to pull off because readers are constantly pulled from the engaging family narrative and fl...

    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 exc...

    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 ...

    In a sense it's a shame that this book is being marketed as a window into understanding the white working class. Lumping this title in with crappy, moralistic screeds (I'm thinking mainly here of Hillbilly Elegy) in order to sell more books doesn't do Smarsh's work justice. It's a beau...

    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 Facebo...

    I had hoped to be keener on this one. Best feature for me were the stories of the grandmothers and mother. ...

  • Jennifer
    Sep 26, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

    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 tim...

    Strong initial effort by author Sarah Smart combines memoir with facts and figures to further explain her family?s hardships over the last century. This combination approach is a difficult one to pull off because readers are constantly pulled from the engaging family narrative and fl...

    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 exc...

    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 ...

    In a sense it's a shame that this book is being marketed as a window into understanding the white working class. Lumping this title in with crappy, moralistic screeds (I'm thinking mainly here of Hillbilly Elegy) in order to sell more books doesn't do Smarsh's work justice. It's a beau...

    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 Facebo...

    I had hoped to be keener on this one. Best feature for me were the stories of the grandmothers and mother. ...

    From the moment I head about this book I knew I had to read it, because I knew in a sense it would be a book about me and my people. Other than Julene Bair's One Degree West, there aren't many books about what it is like growing up in rural Kansas, "flyover country." At one point Sa...

    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 pa...

    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 ...

    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...

    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 disa...

    You might think that a book about growing up on a poor Kansas farm would qualify as ?sociology,? and Heartland certainly does ? But this book is so much more than even the best sociology. It is poetry ? of the wind and snow, the two-lane roads running through the wheat, the sum...

    "Dear August, I heard a voice unlike the ones in my house or on the news that told me my place in the world. It was your voice: a quiet and constant presence, felt more often than heard." And so begins the beautiful "memoir" that Sarah Smarsh wrote about growing up in rural Kansas ...

  • Scribe Publications
    Jun 25, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

    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 tim...

    Strong initial effort by author Sarah Smart combines memoir with facts and figures to further explain her family?s hardships over the last century. This combination approach is a difficult one to pull off because readers are constantly pulled from the engaging family narrative and fl...

    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 exc...

    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 ...

    In a sense it's a shame that this book is being marketed as a window into understanding the white working class. Lumping this title in with crappy, moralistic screeds (I'm thinking mainly here of Hillbilly Elegy) in order to sell more books doesn't do Smarsh's work justice. It's a beau...

    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 Facebo...

    I had hoped to be keener on this one. Best feature for me were the stories of the grandmothers and mother. ...

    From the moment I head about this book I knew I had to read it, because I knew in a sense it would be a book about me and my people. Other than Julene Bair's One Degree West, there aren't many books about what it is like growing up in rural Kansas, "flyover country." At one point Sa...

    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 pa...

    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 ...

    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...

    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 disa...

    You might think that a book about growing up on a poor Kansas farm would qualify as ?sociology,? and Heartland certainly does ? But this book is so much more than even the best sociology. It is poetry ? of the wind and snow, the two-lane roads running through the wheat, the sum...

  • Brad
    Aug 04, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

  • K.
    Oct 04, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

    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 tim...

    Strong initial effort by author Sarah Smart combines memoir with facts and figures to further explain her family?s hardships over the last century. This combination approach is a difficult one to pull off because readers are constantly pulled from the engaging family narrative and fl...

    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 exc...

    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 ...

    In a sense it's a shame that this book is being marketed as a window into understanding the white working class. Lumping this title in with crappy, moralistic screeds (I'm thinking mainly here of Hillbilly Elegy) in order to sell more books doesn't do Smarsh's work justice. It's a beau...

    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 Facebo...

    I had hoped to be keener on this one. Best feature for me were the stories of the grandmothers and mother. ...

    From the moment I head about this book I knew I had to read it, because I knew in a sense it would be a book about me and my people. Other than Julene Bair's One Degree West, there aren't many books about what it is like growing up in rural Kansas, "flyover country." At one point Sa...

    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 pa...

    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 ...

    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...

    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 disa...

  • Brandi
    Jun 03, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

    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 tim...

  • Paul
    Aug 18, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

  • Jodie
    Sep 20, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

    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 tim...

    Strong initial effort by author Sarah Smart combines memoir with facts and figures to further explain her family?s hardships over the last century. This combination approach is a difficult one to pull off because readers are constantly pulled from the engaging family narrative and fl...

    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 exc...

    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 ...

    In a sense it's a shame that this book is being marketed as a window into understanding the white working class. Lumping this title in with crappy, moralistic screeds (I'm thinking mainly here of Hillbilly Elegy) in order to sell more books doesn't do Smarsh's work justice. It's a beau...

    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 Facebo...

    I had hoped to be keener on this one. Best feature for me were the stories of the grandmothers and mother. ...

    From the moment I head about this book I knew I had to read it, because I knew in a sense it would be a book about me and my people. Other than Julene Bair's One Degree West, there aren't many books about what it is like growing up in rural Kansas, "flyover country." At one point Sa...

    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 pa...

    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 ...

    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...

    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 disa...

    You might think that a book about growing up on a poor Kansas farm would qualify as ?sociology,? and Heartland certainly does ? But this book is so much more than even the best sociology. It is poetry ? of the wind and snow, the two-lane roads running through the wheat, the sum...

    "Dear August, I heard a voice unlike the ones in my house or on the news that told me my place in the world. It was your voice: a quiet and constant presence, felt more often than heard." And so begins the beautiful "memoir" that Sarah Smarsh wrote about growing up in rural Kansas ...

    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 e...

  • Katie Rose
    Aug 22, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

    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 tim...

    Strong initial effort by author Sarah Smart combines memoir with facts and figures to further explain her family?s hardships over the last century. This combination approach is a difficult one to pull off because readers are constantly pulled from the engaging family narrative and fl...

    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 exc...

    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 ...

    In a sense it's a shame that this book is being marketed as a window into understanding the white working class. Lumping this title in with crappy, moralistic screeds (I'm thinking mainly here of Hillbilly Elegy) in order to sell more books doesn't do Smarsh's work justice. It's a beau...

    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 Facebo...

    I had hoped to be keener on this one. Best feature for me were the stories of the grandmothers and mother. ...

    From the moment I head about this book I knew I had to read it, because I knew in a sense it would be a book about me and my people. Other than Julene Bair's One Degree West, there aren't many books about what it is like growing up in rural Kansas, "flyover country." At one point Sa...

    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 pa...

    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 ...

    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...

    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 disa...

    You might think that a book about growing up on a poor Kansas farm would qualify as ?sociology,? and Heartland certainly does ? But this book is so much more than even the best sociology. It is poetry ? of the wind and snow, the two-lane roads running through the wheat, the sum...

    "Dear August, I heard a voice unlike the ones in my house or on the news that told me my place in the world. It was your voice: a quiet and constant presence, felt more often than heard." And so begins the beautiful "memoir" that Sarah Smarsh wrote about growing up in rural Kansas ...

    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 e...

    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 m...

    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 sto...

    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. ...

  • Casey Wheeler
    Aug 26, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

    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 tim...

    Strong initial effort by author Sarah Smart combines memoir with facts and figures to further explain her family?s hardships over the last century. This combination approach is a difficult one to pull off because readers are constantly pulled from the engaging family narrative and fl...

    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 exc...

    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 ...

    In a sense it's a shame that this book is being marketed as a window into understanding the white working class. Lumping this title in with crappy, moralistic screeds (I'm thinking mainly here of Hillbilly Elegy) in order to sell more books doesn't do Smarsh's work justice. It's a beau...

    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 Facebo...

  • Janilyn Kocher
    Aug 02, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

  • Laurie's Lit Picks
    Aug 26, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

    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 tim...

    Strong initial effort by author Sarah Smart combines memoir with facts and figures to further explain her family?s hardships over the last century. This combination approach is a difficult one to pull off because readers are constantly pulled from the engaging family narrative and fl...

    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 exc...

    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 ...

    In a sense it's a shame that this book is being marketed as a window into understanding the white working class. Lumping this title in with crappy, moralistic screeds (I'm thinking mainly here of Hillbilly Elegy) in order to sell more books doesn't do Smarsh's work justice. It's a beau...

    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 Facebo...

    I had hoped to be keener on this one. Best feature for me were the stories of the grandmothers and mother. ...

    From the moment I head about this book I knew I had to read it, because I knew in a sense it would be a book about me and my people. Other than Julene Bair's One Degree West, there aren't many books about what it is like growing up in rural Kansas, "flyover country." At one point Sa...

    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 pa...

  • Suzanne
    Sep 17, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

    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 tim...

    Strong initial effort by author Sarah Smart combines memoir with facts and figures to further explain her family?s hardships over the last century. This combination approach is a difficult one to pull off because readers are constantly pulled from the engaging family narrative and fl...

  • Ashley
    Mar 05, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

    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 tim...

    Strong initial effort by author Sarah Smart combines memoir with facts and figures to further explain her family?s hardships over the last century. This combination approach is a difficult one to pull off because readers are constantly pulled from the engaging family narrative and fl...

    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 exc...

    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 ...

    In a sense it's a shame that this book is being marketed as a window into understanding the white working class. Lumping this title in with crappy, moralistic screeds (I'm thinking mainly here of Hillbilly Elegy) in order to sell more books doesn't do Smarsh's work justice. It's a beau...

    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 Facebo...

    I had hoped to be keener on this one. Best feature for me were the stories of the grandmothers and mother. ...

    From the moment I head about this book I knew I had to read it, because I knew in a sense it would be a book about me and my people. Other than Julene Bair's One Degree West, there aren't many books about what it is like growing up in rural Kansas, "flyover country." At one point Sa...

    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 pa...

    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 ...

    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...

    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 disa...

    You might think that a book about growing up on a poor Kansas farm would qualify as ?sociology,? and Heartland certainly does ? But this book is so much more than even the best sociology. It is poetry ? of the wind and snow, the two-lane roads running through the wheat, the sum...

    "Dear August, I heard a voice unlike the ones in my house or on the news that told me my place in the world. It was your voice: a quiet and constant presence, felt more often than heard." And so begins the beautiful "memoir" that Sarah Smarsh wrote about growing up in rural Kansas ...

    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 e...

    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 m...

    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 sto...

    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. ...

    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...

  • Michelle
    Sep 17, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

  • Kayo
    Jul 31, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

    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 tim...

    Strong initial effort by author Sarah Smart combines memoir with facts and figures to further explain her family?s hardships over the last century. This combination approach is a difficult one to pull off because readers are constantly pulled from the engaging family narrative and fl...

    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 exc...

    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 ...

  • Kathleen
    Oct 05, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

  • Mara
    Aug 24, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

    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 tim...

    Strong initial effort by author Sarah Smart combines memoir with facts and figures to further explain her family?s hardships over the last century. This combination approach is a difficult one to pull off because readers are constantly pulled from the engaging family narrative and fl...

    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 exc...

    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 ...

    In a sense it's a shame that this book is being marketed as a window into understanding the white working class. Lumping this title in with crappy, moralistic screeds (I'm thinking mainly here of Hillbilly Elegy) in order to sell more books doesn't do Smarsh's work justice. It's a beau...

    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 Facebo...

    I had hoped to be keener on this one. Best feature for me were the stories of the grandmothers and mother. ...

    From the moment I head about this book I knew I had to read it, because I knew in a sense it would be a book about me and my people. Other than Julene Bair's One Degree West, there aren't many books about what it is like growing up in rural Kansas, "flyover country." At one point Sa...

    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 pa...

    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 ...

  • Tor
    Aug 18, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...

    National Book Award for Nonfiction Longlist 2018. Smarsh has chosen to write about her own family?s multigenerational struggle in Kansas to get ahead by working any way that they could to make ends meet. She focuses particularly on her female relatives and how their decisions contrib...

    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 shou...

    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 re...

    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 und...

    From the NBA shortlist for non-fiction comes this memoir about growing up poor in a ?flyover? state. While I can agree with a lot of what she says about growing up in a rural setting, I sometimes felt she over-dramatized some of it. That in addition to the weird way of talking to h...

    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 tim...

    Strong initial effort by author Sarah Smart combines memoir with facts and figures to further explain her family?s hardships over the last century. This combination approach is a difficult one to pull off because readers are constantly pulled from the engaging family narrative and fl...

    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 exc...

    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 ...

    In a sense it's a shame that this book is being marketed as a window into understanding the white working class. Lumping this title in with crappy, moralistic screeds (I'm thinking mainly here of Hillbilly Elegy) in order to sell more books doesn't do Smarsh's work justice. It's a beau...

    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 Facebo...

    I had hoped to be keener on this one. Best feature for me were the stories of the grandmothers and mother. ...

    From the moment I head about this book I knew I had to read it, because I knew in a sense it would be a book about me and my people. Other than Julene Bair's One Degree West, there aren't many books about what it is like growing up in rural Kansas, "flyover country." At one point Sa...

    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 pa...

    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 ...

    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...

    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 disa...

    You might think that a book about growing up on a poor Kansas farm would qualify as ?sociology,? and Heartland certainly does ? But this book is so much more than even the best sociology. It is poetry ? of the wind and snow, the two-lane roads running through the wheat, the sum...

    "Dear August, I heard a voice unlike the ones in my house or on the news that told me my place in the world. It was your voice: a quiet and constant presence, felt more often than heard." And so begins the beautiful "memoir" that Sarah Smarsh wrote about growing up in rural Kansas ...

    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 e...

    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 m...

    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 sto...

    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. ...

    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...

    Stunning. ...

  • Elizabeth
    Sep 07, 2018

    ?Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in The Richest Country on Earth? is a resounding story by Sarah Smarsh of her family life, heritage and farming culture on the Kansas prairie. With the passage of the Homestead Act (1862) over 270 million acres of land was availa...

    This is a very well written memoir that not only recounts memories of growing up in Kansas (30 miles west of Wichita), but ponders the plight of working class poor with a deeply humane sensitivity that offers clarifying insight into social conditions of the heartland. In addition to th...

    tl;dr: I was really excited about Heartland but a gimmick makes it fall flat. I was giddy when I heard about Heartland--finally, a book had come along with the power of Nickled and Dimed! Sadly, despite the glowing blurb from Barbara Ehrenreich, Heartland is not that powerful. Ev...