... delves into the bones of America as a country of contrasts, the bad along with the good ... Higgins’ trips aren’t simply voyeurism or made with an intent to mock; she genuinely wants to understand those with different viewpoints than her own, succeeding more with some than others—at the Border Security Expo, for example, she finds it difficult to see past jingoism to any deeper understanding of border security, but the farcical idea of an immigrant hiding in plain sight among the attendees is vastly amusing to her. A must-read for Higgins fans, and a perfect introduction for newcomers. Hand this to readers who like Sarah Vowell’s humorous travelogues or the tart essays of David Sedaris.
The author’s fans may find the humor in this book more subdued than in her past work, but for those willing to venture into the realms of cultural critique, her essays are both timely and rewarding ... Intelligent reading filled with candor and sympathy.
... probing if uneven ... Higgins is an accomplished writer, but there’s a hodgepodge feeling to this collection that saps the energy from it. Readers unacquainted with Higgins’s work may struggle to get on board.