The Hills of Life
Jeffrey L. Jones
Tombstone Publishing Company (2019)
Reviewed by Emily Timm for Reader Views (9/2019)
“The Hills of Life” by Jeffrey L. Jones is a charming and heartfelt memoir from Jones’ days growing up in the hills of southwestern Virginia. Jones starts his story with a vivid description of the town of Axton, painting a picture that allows the reader to almost seen the town as he grows up. Growing up during the peak of segregation, Jones is able to offer insight into what the South was like during his childhood, and the struggles he faced as a black man. Jones later reflects upon his adulthood, centering the story around his motorcycle accident and the loss of his leg. Throughout this incredibly moving work, Jones never stops looking ahead with hope, and it is that sense of hopefulness and strength in the face of adversity that makes “The Hills of Life” so special.
I really enjoyed reading “The Hills of Life” because I felt like Jones did a great job at really painting an in-depth picture of the South during the time he grew up. His memories of segregation come through loud and clear, and I think he got his point across without sounding condescending or judgemental. Though his stories sometimes were a bit repetitive, every time I felt like I was right there with him. Jones’ writing style is warm and inviting, and it makes the reader feel as if they know the author as if they were a close friend.
Even more than its vivid look into life in the South, “The Hills of Life” is a touching and inspiring look into how Jones mustered the strength to go through the challenges life threw at him. Jones’ strength is truly admirable, and I think this is what makes “The Hills of Life” a book that is really worth reading. I think these are lessons that everyone can take away from this book, and I think that’s what Jones set out to do.
I highly recommend “The Hills of Life” by Jeffrey L. Jones to readers who want to learn more about the South during its segregationist days, and readers who are looking for an inspiring story about a man who faced life’s obstacles with strength and hope.