Review: Heavy Hangs the Head by Taryn Hipp

Taryn Hipp was kind enough to stop by in February to share about her memoir, Heavy Hangs the Head. Today I’m reviewing her honest and raw book.


Heavy Hangs the Head

By Taryn Hipp

139 pages

Published August 22, 2013 by Sweet Candy Press

Book Description:

Heavy Hangs the Head is a memoir novella about a woman with an addiction, a mental illness, and a feminist identity. It is the story of one woman’s journey from anxiety-ridden child to delinquent teenager to divorced alcoholic. This is the story of how she turned all those years of experiences into a beautiful existence.

My Review:

Taryn Hipp’s memoir is short, only 139 pages. However, that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t pack a lot into it. Hipp has written about her alcoholism before in a zine, but she wants to tell more of the story. The stuff she’s been holding back. Hipp writes: This book is not me re-writing the story I shared in that zine, but rather it’s me coming clean and looking at my addiction and recovery not as something that happened to me, but as a part of who I am.

While this isn’t an easy book to read because of the subject matter, I did finish it in one sitting. Her writing and her story pulled me in. Hipp is honest and at points, I was squirming in my chair and wanted to shout, lecture, and cry with her. She doesn’t try to justify her actions. Instead she’s sharing her story. This would be a hard book for many people to write. And I admire her courage and determination. I also have a feeling she has much more to share. This is a step. Some readers may crave more information. But that may be unfair. How many of us come clean about our mistakes in such an honest and open manner? I admire anyone who takes the step in the right direction. And I hope this book will inspire others to seek help if they need it and to help them confront their own demons and destructive behavior. All of us have skeletons in the closet and anyone who is brave enough to discuss their past mistakes for all to know is admirable in my book.

Author Bio


Taryn Hipp is an old tattooed college lady who has been making zines for more than half her life. Currently she writes the perzine “Ladyteeth,” a collection of stories about her experiences being depressed, getting divorced, getting sober, & falling in love.


Sweet Candy Press        Author’s Website         Author’s Goodreads 




About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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21 Responses to Review: Heavy Hangs the Head by Taryn Hipp

  1. Great review! This definitely sounds like a weighty book, and I can’t help but love the short page count…

  2. Bravo Taryn!! Opening up like this will not only help her but others in similar situations as well.

  3. stephie5741 says:

    She sounds like a fascinating woman. Plus, from her picture she looks like someone I’d love to hang out with!


    • TBM says:

      I’m always amazed by people who write their memoirs. It’s wonderful that they have the ability and honesty to open up to others.

  4. I do admire that she’s so open, but my goodness, I don’t think I could read it. My husband cries over movies. I cry over books. What incredible courage!

    True Heroes from A to Z

  5. Sherri says:

    Thanks for this great review TB, ever since you interviewed Taryn I’ve been looking forward to this as I remember her well. She is one courageous lady and her book is one I think I should add to my reading list.

  6. Kourtney Heintz says:

    Great review. 🙂 Love the cover too.

  7. Sherry Ellis says:

    She sounds like an amazing woman! I enjoyed reading your review.

  8. Jo Bryant says:

    I like the sound of this…it takes amazing courage to hang yourself out for other people.

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