Hillbilly Elegy : A Memoir

J.D. Vance
May 26, 2018

Hillbilly Elegy is unlike anything I've ever listened to. J.D. Vance grew up in the rust belt of America and was the first from his nuclear family to graduate from college. He speaks about growing up there and tells you extensively about the journey his family (grandparents and mother) made before today. 

He details some gritty stuff like an alcoholic grandfather and an abusive mom. I congratulate Vance for working so hard to create something for himself despite coming from a family that was torn apart by some challenging circumstances and, at the same time, held together by a grandparents' love for their grandchildren. Hillbilly Elegy gives a lot of food for thought and you instinctively start to draw comparisons between your life and that of Vance. The people who live in the Appalachian mountains have dealt with issues I've never faced before and, hopefully, never will. Poverty, drugs and mental health issues are, according to Vance, common place there. This is definitely a generalization and J.D. Vance does provide some statistics to back up his points.

I recommend Hillbilly Elegy if you're curious about different demographics in America and you want to understand what it's like to live in the Rust Belt.


Reviewed by Library Staff