The Christian Science Monitor

'Heartland' offers a bleak but compelling portrait of white poverty

Some miles into the country west of Wichita, Kansas, in a farmhouse with a crumbling chimney and rusted chain link fence, a young Sarah Smarsh talked silently to the imaginary daughter she might have one day. 

She talked about moving, which she did a dizzying number of times in her young life thanks to parents without security in housing, employment, or relationships.  She shared how her body felt after working on the farm, or while cuddled next to

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