Hillbilly Elegy #throwbackthursday

March 5, 2020

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

This year as part of Blog Audit Challenge 2020 I’m going back to update older review posts. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads, and today I’m starting with my review of Hillbilly Elegy. Enjoy!

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance (cover)

Genre/Categories: memoir, nonfiction, biography, sociology, poverty

My Summary:

Hillbilly Elegy is a thought-provoking, powerful, and sincere memoir about growing up in a white working-class family in a poor Rust Belt town in Ohio. A Yale Law School graduate and a former marine, J. D. Vance is originally from Kentucky’s Appalachia region. His grandparents who were “dirt poor and in love” moved the family to Ohio in the hopes of escaping devastating poverty. Throughout the memoir, we learn that despite a geographical move, the family was never able to entirely escape the hillbilly culture of alcoholism, poverty, abuse, and trauma. Even though J. D. Vance beat the odds and graduated from law school, he still struggles to come to terms with his chaotic family history. The memoir is filled with detailed, humorous, dramatic, and colorful examples of what his life was like.

Favorite Quote:

“I want people to understand what happens in the lives of the poor and the psychological impact
that spiritual and material poverty has
on their children.”

Click here to continue reading my review….

QOTD: Have you read Hillbilly Elegy or is it on your TBR?


  1. I read this book several years ago and loved it. I thought Vance portrayed the area/time he grew up in quite realistically without patronizing it. HE remains one of my favorites in the “coming from nothing/hard-pressed childhoods” memoir genres.

  2. Read this with our Lit Group. Wrenching to see the disfunction he traveled through. But there are people all around us who need help in the same way. (as school teachers see every day). An affecting, worthwhile story.

    • Yes….when I read the book, so much of it related to the student population at the title 1 school where I taught! Especially the chaos of family life 💔 I thought Vance had many thoughtful insights!

  3. I have not read this one, but it sounds very thought provoking. Having worked with students who lived in generational poverty, I think I will connect with this one. Thanks for sharing this one Carol.

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