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Jennifer's books

Goodbye, Vitamin
American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land
Mrs. Hemingway
Poetry Will Save Your Life: A Memoir
The Princess Diarist
Watch Me Disappear
Hello, Sunshine
Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success
A Man Called Ove
The Heirs
Our Souls at Night
White Fur
Confessions of a Domestic Failure
The Map That Leads to You
The Little French Bistro
Love the Wine You're With
Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
The Party
New Boy


Jennifer Curry's favorite books »

Friday, September 1, 2017

Book Review: Evicted

Evicted by Matthew Desmond


Well, this is a book I had high hopes for that did not quite live up to my expectations. However, that in no way means it was a bad book. I simply was looking to be moved by it in the same way I was by a handful of other nonfiction titles this year (Just Mercy, Hillbilly Elegy, American Fire), and that just did not happen.



Evicted by Matthew Desmond is an incredibly detailed behind-the-scenes look at poverty, rental properties, and evictions in Milwaukee. It has won numerous awards and is being heavily praised. For me, the most interesting part of the book is the ending when Desmond tells you how he approached this work as a journalist. Learning how he got close enough to learn the secrets was truly fascinating.

However, the stories themselves were not as interesting to me. I believe this is because it was the same sad story told over and over again. This is probably part of the point though - this is an ongoing battle in a vicious system, so we need to acknowledge that these problems are recurring and the cycle is continuing. But, reading the different stories over and over again was not as moving as I expected it to be.

With that being said, while I might not have been moved to tears, it was clearly eye-opening. I learned quite a bit I did not know (and most probably turned a blind eye to). For example, I had not stopped to think about the people who make money off of those living in poverty. Desmond refers to one individual as an inner-city entrepreneur. She owns their crumbling homes and offers transportation to visit family members in jail. And, then, she kicks them out when times get hard.

This book delves into the bleak world of poverty, evictions, welfare, and city planning. Desmond carefully demonstrates the struggle to pay the rent and feed your family - especially when the rent takes up most of your pay.

I won't say it is a must-read, but it is an illuminating and challenging read.

To learn more, please see:

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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