After rising from poverty to earn two Ivy League degrees, an Appalachian lawyer pays tribute to the strong 'hill women' who raised and inspired her, and whose values have the potential to rejuvenate a struggling region.
... a quietly moving, powerful memoir in which Chambers shares her family’s story while praising the fortitude, intelligence and strength of Appalachian women ... Never didactic or dull, Chambers is particularly skillful at sharing her family’s narrative while weaving in facts and commentary about Appalachian sociology, education, health, economics and politics. Most of all, the author’s love and respect for her Granny (married at age 15 to a man she had known for a few months), mother (married at 18, the first in her family to graduate high school or college) and Aunt Ruth (an independent woman who married in her 40s) shine through, brightening each page like a welcoming front porch light ... In this age of political divisions, Hill Women offers a loving, luminous look at an often misunderstood and undervalued segment of our society.
In this engaging memoir, Cassie Chambers honors her eastern Kentucky mountain roots ... With humility and humor, Chambers tells not just her own story, but those of her parents, grandparents and other kin, as well as those of her clients, women who struggle to get schooling and work, escape abusive relationships and raise their children despite poverty, isolation, the opioid epidemic and a legal system that makes every action and transaction especially difficult ... Chambers' story is especially effective because she tells it without outrage or indignation, rather with gratitude and pride ... a fine memoir that shines light on an American region far too often denigrated and stereotyped.
... powerful ... Chambers acknowledges Appalachia’s problems, such as water pollution and the drug epidemic, but these sections—sporadically interspersed throughout the book— only skim the surface of Appalachia’s issues. Still, this is a passionate memoir, one that honors Appalachia’s residents, especially its women.