A review by kellitea_reads
No Place Like Home: Notes from a Western Life, by Linda M. Hasselstrom


I've wanted to read this for years and was genuinely looking forward to the experience. Hasselstrom's is a local author and her accounting of the changes facing rural South Dakota is painfully honest. Yet as much as I understand her points and recognize the nostalgia she is recalling, I can't help but feel put off by the broader strokes of her ideas. Exploring what makes and breaks the feeling of community could have allowed for an open door between old definitions and modern implementation, but this is where her narrative crumbles. Instead of finding ways to bridge between the old and new, she deftly paints essay after essay with the theme of us vs. them. Reinforcing the stereotypes of the wizened country dweller and unaware, uncaring urbanite does little to help people feel like they should take the time to understand the radical changes that are happening across the country in the fabric of rural america.

Hasselstrom's writing is far better than this rating, a 4 1/2 would be accurate, but the overarching ideas greatly decrease the readability of the book.