Book Review: Hang the Moon by Jeannette Walls

“Some say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but that isn’t always so. Many a time, what doesn’t kill you leaves you broken and crippled, unable to fight the next fight, or sometimes it leaves a wound in your heart so deep and ugly that it never truly heals, leaves you bitter and angry, unable to forgive the world for its cruelty.”

Jeannette Walls, Hang the Moon

Title: Hang the Moon
Author: Jeannette Walls
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
Published: March 28th, 2023

My Rating: ★★★★¾
Read: 5/23/2023 – 5/28/2023


I forget how much I love Depression-era stories until I come across books like this. There’s so much grit to be found, especially when the book is so character driven. I hung on every word and was completely immersed.

When her stepmother dies, Sallie Kincaid is finally called home after being sent away at the age of eight. She’s thrilled by this second chance to reclaim her place in her family and redeem herself as a big sister to her half-brother, Eddie. It doesn’t take long for her to realize that she might be in over her head. Nevertheless, she refuses to back down from a challenge. She isn’t afraid to do whatever it takes to prove herself worthy of her father’s affection.

The longer Sallie is home, she realizes that her father is far different from the man she remembers. What’s more is that she doesn’t know much about her own past, especially surrounding her mother’s death. When Duke remarries, even more secrets rise to the surface.

I ate up the in-depth timeline in which the story is told. Most of the events of the book happen in real-time which made it hard to pause reading. It’s also extremely character driven which I love. It’s overall an emotional and dark story in its way. All that said, there was a lot of information and characters to digest. Honestly, I’d say too many, especially when it comes to Sallie’s complicated family tree. I’m still not positive about all of the relationships. Still, I was thoroughly engrossed from start to finish. Sometimes that’s difficult for me to find.

Likes & Dislikes:

What I liked:

  • A linear and character-driven narration.
  • Gritty in places thanks to the time period it’s set.
  • Has a good amount of action.

What I didn’t like:

  • Too many characters and complicated relations to follow.
  • Toward the end in particular there were a few unbelievable plot points.


Even though I purchased this book through Book of the Month, I ended up listening to the audiobook version. I think I enjoyed it more this way than I might have only reading it with my eyes. The author was the narrator so it brought so much more to the performance.

Where to buy the book:

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