Rating – 3/5
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich is a book like no other. This non-fiction novel follows the author as she tries to experience what it’s like to be a minimum-wage worker. Ehrenreich decides to leave her family for a month, and goes to three different cities where she tries as hard as she can to simulate being in the lower class. She first settles in Key West, where she works as a waitress. Ehrenreich also finds her way to Maine and Minnesota, and works a variety of minimum-wage jobs. While Nickel and Dimed was a completely different experience, I have to say that it wasn’t the most interesting read.
The thing that makes adult non-fiction bearable to read is the author’s tone. The author has to find some way to make the reader laugh, cry, or anything in between. In other words, all good non-fiction books need to bring some sort of emotion to the reader. Unfortunately, Nickel and Dimed didn’t do that. After the first chapter, which was actually 50 pages long so not much of a chapter, I found myself waiting for the book to end. Barbara Ehrenreich goes into a lot of detail, but sometimes it becomes to much. I actually zoned off while reading the book and didn’t notice until I had made it through 75 pages.
In short, you’re never going to find another book like Nickel and Dimed. It was a brand new experience, but eventually the book gets boring.