Heartland

Thoughts hbyss by Sarah Smarsh, 2018, 290 pages

Challenge:  N/A
Genre:  Economics Nonfiction
Type/Source: Hardback / Purchased somewhere books are sold
 Why I read this now:  Finally, it’s time was now.

MOTIVATION for READING: My mom told me that she needed to read this for her book club but the wait list at the library was long. So I bought it for her Mother’s Day present. She read and sent to her sister, who sent it to me. I’ve had it a few months.

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  This is Sarah Smarsh’s memoir about working hard and being broke growing up in Kansas. I wanted to read it because Smarsh is from the area of Kansas that I am also from. Or a few miles, anyway. I can’t say I know any of the same people.

THOUGHTS:  Wow, I have fallen out of the review-vibe, once again. I don’t know what to say. I cannot bring myself to be critical but I also can’t find it right to say that this was a great read. It was a fine read. What the hell is the word fine mean but that I can’t or won’t say more?  I did find the talking to her unborn-child a bit odd, but I also didn’t necessarily hate it. I might even have related to it – I think she explained this part well. Her writing skills are evident. It was very readable – I was never tempted to DNF.

Of course, DNF-ing is not always a case of the book not being ‘good’ but that sometimes the right book isn’t being read at the ‘right’ time. FOR ME. 

I knew the landmarks, the physical localities of her life. I recognized her midwestern viewpoints, often. I don’t think I would call her a whiner, like some have accused her of.  She wasn’t really a complainer, as such and she really didn’t lay vicious blame at the feet of “corporations/government/capitalism” and yet she did. She didn’t offer solutions nor suggest that there are certain portions of the US economy that is just not catching the breaks. That you HAVE to catch the breaks, is the point, perhaps. She explained that it took real effort and a fish-out-of-water feeling to break out of the cycle she saw in her family circumstances. I admire her. I wonder. I really just don’t know what to think of this.

What this book really did was heighten my interest in reading Hillbilly Elegy. I have heard this book of Smarsh’s is BETTER than HE. Yet, HE got the kudos, the attention, the movie deal. So I want to find out if it is the same or better. Or worse.

Ah, it shouldn’t be a competition. Was that the point? I don’t know what the point is. She worked hard, wanted DIFFERENT for herself and thus on a typical
success rating, she succeeded.

The pros and cons supporting and dissing this book are fascinating. I, again, have not the capacity to figure it out nor explain it here, that’s for sure.

RATING:  Three slices of pie.

Her grandmother made a lot of pie and I can respect that.

Gma Teresa was always in charge of the pies since she bested the other women with her meticulous baking skills.

“Canned pie filling in a bowl”

 

 

pierating

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7 thoughts on “Heartland

    1. OOoooooOOOO! Thank you. I’m rather put out by the fact that my boss’ boss gave my boos HE to read. I said, in response, “wow!I I’m reading Heartland right now!” and got blank looks from both. ugh

  1. I think the fact the HE got the kudos is not due to chance. I’ve not read either but I understand the message of each book is slanted differently and Americans want to believe the J.D. Vance version even if the Sarah Smarsh version is more accurate for most people.

  2. I’ll be interested to hear what you think of Hillbilly Elegy. I rated it 4 stars and, in a strange twist, ended up finishing the book on Election Day 2016. Turned on the television to find the author on an ABC News panel! Haven’t been tempted to pick up Heartland, but would like to read a newly released memoir called Hill Women.

  3. Pingback: “I Should Be Reading” – January 2020 Update – Care's Books and Pie

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