Saturday 4 May 2019

Hillbilly Elegy

Finished April 14
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

I had this book on my shelf at home for a while, and finally was prodded to read it by it being my book club read. It is a personal book, about the author's own experience of an absent father, an addict mother who wasn't often there for him, two grandparents that raised him for the most part, and an older half-sister who tried to do what was right for him as much as she could.
It is a story of being raised in both the factory towns of Ohio and the hills of the Appalachians. It is about those around him who adjusted well to the urban life, and those who did not. It is about poverty, and the rise and loss of American manufacturing jobs, about how education and home life combine to keep children on the path towards a happy and fulfilling life.
I enjoyed it, but also was aware from other reading that I've done, that it only shows part of the story of America. The more stories we learn from the many different experiences, help us to understand what is right and what is wrong with the current situation, and hopefully those that set policy read and listen and learn from stories like this.

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