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Hang the Moon by Jeannette Walls
Historical fiction

Hang the Moon

by Jeannette Walls

Quick take

This moving Prohibition-era family saga and its feisty heroine have all the grit and complexity of good moonshine.

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    Famous author

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FamilyDrama

    Family drama

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Sallie Kincaid is the daughter of the biggest man in a small town, the charismatic Duke Kincaid. Born at the turn of the 20th century into a life of comfort and privilege, Sallie remembers little about her mother who died in a violent argument with the Duke. By the time she is just eight years old, the Duke has remarried and had a son, Eddie. While Sallie is her father’s daughter, sharp-witted and resourceful, Eddie is his mother’s son, timid and cerebral. When Sallie tries to teach young Eddie to be more like their father, her daredevil coaching leads to an accident, and Sallie is cast out.

Nine years later, she returns, determined to reclaim her place in the family. That’s a lot more complicated than Sallie expected, and she enters a world of conflict and lawlessness. Sallie confronts the secrets and scandals that hide in the shadows of the Big House, navigates the factions in the family and town, and finally comes into her own as a bold, sometimes reckless bootlegger.

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Content warning

This book contains mentions of suicide.

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Get an early look from the first pages of Hang the Moon.

Why I love it

Get ready for Sallie Kincaid, a young woman so bold and brave, so agile and quick, she can outrun her own family secrets and circle back around years later to divulge them and set things right. She is the center of Hang the Moon, a Prohibition-Era saga set in the lush mountains of Virginia, and the latest masterwork from great American storyteller Jeannette Walls.

Sallie wants the things we all want: to love and be loved. She also insists on a life of purpose, to claim her life as surely as her father—Duke Kincaid, a local legend—who built the formidable family moonshine business. As a woman who fought for her place in the dangerous family enterprise of moonshine, many obstacles are placed in Sallie’s path, but she is determined to redeem her family name, shake it loose from scandals, and embrace her legacy on her own terms.

The wonder of this grand novel is Jeannette Walls’ singular and authentic style. She captures worlds that are often lost and the souls that are lost within them—fractured families, handsome beaus, wild hucksters, and more, all of them real and unforgettable. She writes women that lead us on the path to redemption and change us all for the better. Jeannette writes with beauty, truth and humor about the things that matter. By the time you read the last, glorious page of Hang the Moon, it will have become an American classic.

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Member ratings (8,248)

  • Wanda B.

    Greenville, NC

    5 ⭐️ read for sure!! Sallie Kincaid is the main character you’ve been waiting on. Smart, tough, resilient. Fabulous story of Prohibition and mountain people. A story that will stand the test of time.

  • Addie D.

    Waterbury, CT

    Little slow to start but then I got wrapped up in Sallie’s indomitable spirit. She was gritty & hung on when times got tough. I hadn’t read much on prohibition in the south & this did not disappoint.

  • Shelby S.

    Onaway, MI

    I put this book down many times and my busy schedule didn’t allow me to pick it up for weeks but the beauty was, I knew right where I left off and easy to start up again. I really enjoyed this read!

  • Heather W.

    Chico, CA

    I love a well crafted plot that twists through generations, but unfolds itself slowly until all the pieces fit together. Thought provoking about women’s “place” in history. Wells always delivers.

  • Debra L.

    Apex, NC

    What a great novel set in the Virginia mountains during the Era of Prohibition. Sallie Kincaid has the strength of her beloved Dad, the Duke. When her time comes to fill his shoes; will she be ready?