I can hardly believe it’s been eighteen years since Jeannette Wall’s wildly popular memoir, THE GLASS CASTLE ,bounded upon the literary scene. I so loved it and hand sold dozens upon dozens of copies of it to every single soul I could. It was amazing and TRUE. Walls has written a couple novels since then but I’ve been waiting for just the perfect novel. Here it is: HANG THE MOON is just what I’ve been looking for. It’s unique and edgy with crazy, larger than life characters filled with pepper and salt.
The time period is early 20’s. The setting is a small rural county in Virginia where most of the people are poor. One family, however, the Kincaids, are wealthy. The Duke is the patriarch and he struts around the small town as if he owns the place. Well, he really does! He has a young daughter named Sallie who has no idea what pop does for a living. She’s a real pistol. She’s got a younger brother who is totally opposite of her, shy and introverted. When Sallie’s mother is killed in a fight with her dad, Sallie finds herself with a stepmother. One who wants her out of the way. So Sallie is sent off to the hills to live with her aunt Faye. That story in itself is worth the price of admission. Several years down the pike Sallie is almost grown up. She’s beckoned back home by the Duke when her stepmother dies suddenly. Hm, seems like a lot of unexplained deaths around here …
So, what is it that has this family is making fist’s full of money while others are down and out? You have heard of prohibition, right? It’s all about bootlegging…
This novel has everything: so many secrets, love children, murders, action and more than enough drama for any two novels. As well as characters with personalities both sour and sweet.
When Sallie finally figures out how her family makes a living, the story takes on yet another stage of development and intrigue. Sallie will become known as the Queen of Kincaid County. And all bets are off.
Looking for a real page-turner? A novel that grabs you from the get-go? Something with shock value? This is your book. Great for bookclub discussion.
My review copy was provided by the generous people at Scribner Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Honestly, it’s super!
Photo by John Taylor