There are some days I wish I could sleep in, but my brain in these past years, has a built in alarm clock for 0400-0500. Rain last night but it felt less muggy when I let Benny out. Treated myself to a new read from our bookstore yesterday. I had previously read the review in the NY Times Books section and it has been number one in their non-fiction choices for a bit now. It will be a major motion picture directed by Ron Howard. Hillbilly Elegy-A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis was written by J.D. Vance.
From the Back Cover
From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class through the author’s own story of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of poor, white Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for over forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. In Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hanging around your neck.
The Vance family story began with hope in postwar America. J.D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history. A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
Unfortunately, when I enjoy a book like I am this one, I tend to gobble the pages in a number of days. Stayed up till near midnight after opening it last night.
Time for my second cup of coffee and to get on with the day.
One is never too old to yearn. ~ Italian Proverb