Through 100 in-depth interviews Silva vividly pulls us into this world, mostly in Richmond, Virginia, and Lowell, Massachusetts, where her grandparents grew up. The most striking thing about these stories is that they’re not only about debt or empty checking accounts; they’re about small moments wherein our institutions have ignored, confused, or overwhelmed working class people. Isaac doesn’t apply for financial aid for community college because his mother feels uncomfortable providing her salary for the FAFSA. Christopher feels “tricked” for being taxed $400 for not purchasing Massachusetts health insurance because he was unemployed and didn’t know how to look for free health care. Eileen tries to collect welfare, but couldn’t despite her low income because she inherited a house from her mother.
These moments spark not only resentment in the “system,” but between different groups.