I hope readers come away understanding that poor people aren't poor because they don't want to work hard. One of the many things I took away from reading this is "Poverty could pile on; living it often meant steering through gnarled thickets of interconnected misfortunes and trying not to go crazy." A part of me feels powerless because these are so many issues plaguing the country right now and the problem isn't the people, it's our laws and policies and our court systems have to change. The fact is many of us are only one tragic life event away from having to face many of the circumstances the people in the book face everyday. That realization helps to have compassion and empathy for others who have it rough. I hope this book opens someone else's eyes. In my opinion, the litmus test for nonfiction books are the end notes. For the good books I read the end notes completely and this was truly an extraordinary effort from Matthew Desmond. I'm a fan.