Stephanie Land, whose name appears in lowercase on the cover, I assume to represent her invisibility as a house cleaner, tells of the harrowing first four years of her daughter's life, and how Land worked to support the two of them. Being poor is a full-time job, as much as caring for a baby and driving 45-minutes, uncompensated, to clean a house for just above minimum wage. Poor people lose their jobs because they have to spend their time and energy proving to agencies that they're poor--and not fat! Seriously, mother and daughter had to be weighed to get their WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) checks--checks that are like coupons for specific, approved food items. Land tells of organic whole milk being removed from the approved list because of childhood obesity, and replaced with skim, which she notes is full of "sugar, salt, antibiotics, and hormones." You can use coupons on any vegetable except potatoes, and the veggies have to come to exactly $10 because you're not entitled to change. And after you spend your WIC, inevitably some other customer will shout, "You're welcome!" at you, in case you didn't feel humiliated enough already.
Single mothers with asshole baby daddies and distant (physically, as well as emotionally--Land's mother was living in Europe with her seven-years-older-than-Stephanie partner) and other family members who are also poor, and friends who mock EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) purchases on Facebook have it rough. As land points out after a particularly hard experience, "Sometimes mothers need to be mothered, too." Land really holds it together for her beloved daughter, Mia, who has the misfortune to be allergic to mold while living in the Pacific Northwest. Mia is always sick, and Land isn't much better off, allergy or healthwise, but she can't miss work, and therefore Mia can't miss daycare, which I'm sure made Land popular with the other moms.
But back to the asshole baby daddy, he tried to poison Mia against Land to prove how selfish Land was being. Ugh. Dudes! Speaking of ugh, skip Barbara Ehrenreich's introduction. I started it, but quickly realized it as condescending trash. Whatever she did to help Land is great, but she should have remained in the background.