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Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
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Archive: Other Books > Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance 5 stars

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Cheryl Coppens | 381 comments J.D. Vance writes of his upbringing as a hillbilly child from the Appalachian Region of Ohio. It is an amazing story of survival, struggle, determination, and ultimately attaining your goals. Vance from an early age had to deal with poverty, addiction (his mothers'), violence, a revolving series of men in and out of his mothers life, and insecurity in most areas of his life. I found the book shocking, troubling, and in the end truly inspiring. Surprisingly I found myself reflecting on my childhood and the reason for some of the choices I've made in my life. While sometimes disturbing and sad the book leaves one with optimism that if Vance can overcome all that he has there is hope for all of us.

Diane Zwang | 485 comments I really enjoyed this book when I read it. Learned so much about the culture.

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I just saw this book at the library and wondered what it was about. Good review. I had some friends from this region and to hear their personal stories of the hardships and even the physical consequences of living in abject poverty was disheartening. Some seasons of literal starvation, harsh winters with no heating, the rate of alcoholism in an area where they feel they have no way out was so sad. They both rose from that area due to a multimillionaire who sought young people who wanted to go to college. They both took advantage of this and really got far. But they love where they came from and they visit all the time. Both of their families still live there and they are active in a medical clinic there as well as helping with the same program that helped them. What people can rise from shows the human spirit I think and gives us all hope.

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6400 comments Two of my F2F book clubs (so far) have read and discussed this. Really a thought-provoking memoir.

Jason Oliver | 2098 comments Loved this book. My grandmother and her family came from a similar area and we had a very deep conversation about this book and the portrayal of these small appalachian towns and about how do you educate larger wold views. This book really made me evaluate even further the world view I her up with and how limited our own environment is.

Ladyslott | 1880 comments I loved this book. Although my dad's family did not come from Appalachia, they did come from Oklahoma, and as Okies had very, very similar experiences. They were considered hillbillies, although they came from the Plains. Never understood that.

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments Linda, I had no idea your family was from Oklahoma! My maternal grandmother’s family was in Oklahoma before Missouri. I think they were there for the Land rush but am not sure why they ended up coming to Missouri. I really should ask these things of my relatives before it is too late....

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Ladyslott | 1880 comments Nicole R wrote: "Linda, I had no idea your family was from Oklahoma! My maternal grandmother’s family was in Oklahoma before Missouri. I think they were there for the Land rush but am not sure why they ended up com..."

Most of my paternal family came from Taney County, Missouri and then Leedy, Oklahoma, with some Native American mixed in. My dad was born in Strong City, Oklahoma (far west, close to Texas) - one of nine children. My 2nd great grandfather died on the White River in a ferry boat accident in 1906. According to my great aunt he was drunk at the time. I've been researching my family for 12 years on Ancestry and did a DNA test, which did confirm the Native American ancestry but haven't been able to confirm what line it came from but I do suspect it was my great-great grandmother Allen. I find it fascinating.

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