Hang the Moon by Jeannette Walls

Read Time:2 Minute, 49 Second

Sallie Kincaid defies expectations in early 20th century America. Born into privilege, Sallie is cast out after a reckless incident with her half-brother. Nine years later, she returns as a bootlegger, determined to reclaim her place in the family and confront the town’s secrets and scandals.

Book review of Hang the Moon

Hang the Moon by Jeanette Walls is a historical novel that takes us on a journey with the Kincaids, a prominent family in rural Virginia during Prohibition and the Great Depression. The novel’s protagonist is Sallie, who is banished as a child by her father to live with her poor aunt. When her father is lost, Sallie must prove to him and the rest of the family that she has what it takes to run their “moonshining” business.

Walls’ writing style is captivating, and her descriptions of rural Virginia during that era are vivid and authentic. She has created a cast of lively, strong, and engaging characters, with Sallie being the standout as a strong-willed and intelligent heroine. The novel moves at a steady pace and has some surprising twists, although some of the plot devices are a bit repetitive, and a few of the twists are a little outlandish.

Despite these minor flaws, Hang the Moon is an enjoyable read that hangs together well as a family saga. The author’s talent for creating interesting, well-developed characters is evident throughout the book, and her writing is beautiful, compelling, and owns the reader until the end. The novel transports the reader back to a time of hardship, lawlessness, and family rivalries, and Walls’ ability to create characters that come to life on the page leaves the reader breathless from their reality.

The author’s descriptions of the moonshining business and the inner workings of the Kincaid family are engaging and informative, and she manages to infuse a sense of hope in a time of despair. Walls’ keen eye for detail aids her in rendering first-rate descriptions of rural Virginia during that era, and the mist coming off the mountains and the smell of the stills’ cooking fires seem almost palpable.

Final verdict

Overall, Hang the Moon is a beautifully written book that I encourage everyone to read. Walls’ writing style and the novel’s strong-willed heroine will appeal to fans of historical fiction and family sagas. It is a book that should be savored, and readers will find themselves reluctant to leave the Kincaid family and the world Walls has created. If you’re looking for a captivating and engaging read that will transport you to another time and place, then Hang the Moon is the book for you.

Our Score


  • Well-developed and engaging characters, especially the heroine Sallie Kincaid.
  • Vivid and detailed descriptions of rural Virginia during the Prohibition and Great Depression era, making the setting come alive for readers.
  • A fast-paced and entertaining family saga, with a good balance of drama, action, and surprises.


  • Some repetitive plot devices that could become predictable for readers.
  • A few outlandish twists that may stretch readers’ suspension of disbelief.
  • The storyline and themes may not be for everyone, as it focuses on the illegal “moonshine” business and may not appeal to all readers.
Hang the MoonPublisher ‏ : ‎ Scribner (March 28, 2023)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1501117297
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1501117299
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.23 pounds
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 1 x 9 inches

About Article Author

Christopher Hill

Christopher Hill has worked in the publishing industry for more than 15 years for both international and national media. When he is not reading, he enjoys spending time with his three dogs, whom he considers his most loyal reading companions.
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