Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Hang the Moon - Jeannette Walls

If you've not read Jeannette Walls before, you really should. She’s penned a memoir with that is gut-wrenchingly good. But she’s also turned her hand to fiction novels and they're all great reads as well. 

Her latest is Hang the Moon. This new book takes place in the 1920s during the prohibition years in Appalachia Virginia. Walls has woven lots of intriguing fact into her fiction. Some of the characters are also based on historical people.

Our protagonist is young Sallie Kincaid who was born into an influential family. But money can’t keep misfortune from knocking on the door. And in Hang the Moon, it’s pounding the door down.

Walls takes inspiration from her own sense of self and imbues Sallie with an indomitable optimism and drive in the face of hurdle after hurdle. Those trials were probably the hardest thing for me listen to. Women and children are treated as chattel, and they have to accept their place in society. Happily, Sallie just doesn't fit that mold. The male characters are for the most part, full of themselves and their 'rights'. The Duke is especially unlikable.

Hang the Moon is action packed with one calamity running into the next. A wee bit of me thought there were perhaps one too many, edging into over the top territory. But overall, I quite enjoyed the book.

The narrator was....the author herself! It's always a treat when an author reads their work. Walls employs the perfect twang for the locale setting. Her voice is easy on the ears and easy to understand. Sallie's optimism is in the voice time and time again, as is her determination. Walls has created voices for supporting characters that are easily identifiable. I've said it before, but I find I become more immersed in a tale when I listen. This was definitely the case with Hand the Moon. Hear for yourself - listen to an audio excerpt.

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