REVIEW: NOMADLAND, BY JESSICA BRUDER

From the beet fields of North Dakota to the campgrounds of California to Amazon’s CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labor pool, made up largely of transient older adults. These invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in RVs and modified vans, forming a growing community of nomads.

Nomadland tells a revelatory tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy—one which foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, it celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of these Americans who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive, but have not given up hope.

 

What happens to aging members of the American middle class when their traditional jobs end and new jobs are impossible to find? How can they survive after the Great Recession has taken away their livelihood and possibly even their housing? How will they move on as they struggle to find their footing? Housing is a big piece of the pie that may no longer be available in the traditional sense, so the people in Nomadland have carved out a new way to live.

The author has done her research and taken time to move among these people whose lives had to change dramatically. She literally traveled alongside them on their journey, studying them as they followed their transient path in their vans and RVs, moving from one low paying job to another. They took up jobs in campgrounds and in Amazon warehouses, striking out against the traditional system to carve their own new world order. They build unique communities traveling from place to place, depending on themselves and the resources they find. A unique and engaging story that earned 4.5 stars.

Read for the Nonfiction Challenge. –#2020ReadNonFic

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