Shetterly, who chronicled her cross-country trip from L.A. to Maine for NPR's Weekend Edition, offers this deeper look into her emotional and geographic journey. The recession hit Maine hard in late 2007. Shetterly and her husband, caught off guard, struggled to make a living. Friends in California beckoned the pair, with tales of a sunnier, more prosperous, and stable life. The optimistic young couple, together with their dog and cat, set out for Los Angeles in 2008. A year later, depressed and broke, toting a new baby and minus one pet, they drove back home to Maine, settling in with Shetterly's mother. "My anger had fueled me to the point of outrage—how could America let me down this way? How could America do this to families? Wasn't it just yesterday we were watching Sex and the City and buying fabulous ‘lifestyles' on maxed out credit cards? What had changed overnight?" In this compelling narrative, Shetterly reveals all the messy, mundane details of lives coming undone. However, as she acknowledges sadly, it's her observations on the reduced American lifestyle that give her commentary an edge. Readers would be wise to heed her commentary on the loss of our small towns, homelessness, joblessness and the increasing economic divisions between Americans. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/14/2011 Release date: 03/01/2011 Genre: Nonfiction
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