I almost gave up on this book because it was so heartbreaking to read. By following the stories of just a handful of people, Desmond allows the reader to build a connection to them and feel truly saddened each time life doesn’t work out in their favor. He powerfully illustrates the way that deep poverty sucks the energy out of one’s life and makes a convincing case that eviction is more a cause than an effect of poverty. I particularly appreciated the fact that Evicted ends with some concrete suggestions for helping improve the plight of the chronically poor.

At the very end of the book, I was quite surprised to discover that Desmond had lived in the trailer park and inner-city neighborhood where most of the book’s stories take place. In retrospect, this living arrangement makes sense – how else would he have gotten to know the people and their stories so well? – but I certainly wasn’t expecting it.