Hill Women: Finding Family and a Way Forward in the Appalachian Mountains

Cassie Chambers (Author)

Product Details

$27.00  $24.84
Ballantine Books
Publish Date
January 07, 2020
5.5 X 0.69 X 8.25 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author

Cassie Chambers grew up in eastern Kentucky. She graduated from Yale College, the Yale School of Public Health, the London School of Economics, and Harvard Law School, where she was president of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, a student-run law firm that represents low-income clients. Chambers then received a Skadden Fellowship to return to Kentucky to do legal work with domestic violence survivors in rural communities. In 2018, she helped pass Jeanette's Law, which eliminated the requirement that domestic violence survivors pay an incarcerated spouse's legal fees in order to get a divorce. She lives in Louisville with her husband and their son.


"Engaging . . . 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. . . . Hill Women is a fine memoir that shines light on an American region far too often denigrated and stereotyped."--Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Surrounded by poverty and decay, Chambers managed to beat the odds and explore life beyond the mountains. . . . In Hill Women, Chambers recounts these experiences, breaking down myths about the region and revealing just how strong its people are." --Nashville Lifestyles

"Cassie Chambers tells the story of the women in the mountains of Kentucky who nurtured her, as well as her own journey to become a fierce defender of Appalachian women. This is a book that teaches us about service and gratitude, family and the tenuousness of belonging, and the power of education, loyalty, and home."--Steven Stoll, author of Ramp Hollow

"A fascinating view of an often misunderstood population of America and an uplifting ode to the strong women at its core, whose unique stories and sacrifices inspire . . . a book to be celebrated!" --Cea Sunrise Person, author of North of Normal

"Women in Kentucky's Appalachian community come into focus in lawyer Chambers's powerful debut memoir, which aims to put a human face on a stereotyped region. . . . This is a passionate memoir, one that honors Appalachia's residents."--Publishers Weekly

"A nuanced portrait of the women of Appalachia . . . [Chambers] offers a personal and compassionate voice to the national conversation around poverty, class, and economy in the Coal Belt. . . . The argument floating below the surface of this memoir is one about economy and culture--an economy that generates massive wealth, at great human cost, and a culture of contempt for the poor. . . . Chambers carefully documents the personalities that shaped her, as she warns against characterizing the people of her region by their poverty alone, flattening their individuality in the process." --The Progressive

"This Appalachian memoir doesn't just celebrate the women of the hills--it fights for them. . . . Chambers balances out her personal story with vivid portraiture of her Appalachian kin. . . . Their voices ring out, frank and earthy, touched with King James but practical above all else. . . . She faces the region's challenges with heartbreaking accounts of opioid addiction and a legal system less concerned with justice than it is with wringing money out of the broke and desperate. Like the hill women before her, Chambers is pragmatic, fighting for achievable change in a punishing system." --Shelf Awareness