Feb 26, 2018

Review: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Author: Jeannette Walls
Publisher: Scribner
Number of Pages: 288
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"A tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that, despite its profound flaws, gave the author the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story."
I read this book because I heard the movie was coming out, and I had heard really good things about it from my friends. Although when I started reading it I was forcing myself to read for about the first 100 pages. I was not interested in her story, although I did feel sympathetic due to the situations and the lifestyle she had to endure. Thus, it took me about two months to get through that because I had no motivation to read it. Then, I participated in a read-a-thon, so I told myself I had to finish it. Then I read the second half of the book in one night.

The book really starts to pick up during the second half, and I don't think that has much to do with the content of the book. The events of the book became more spread out, so more years were covered in fewer pages which kept up my suspense. I became more interested in the ending of the memoir, so I was more motivated to read.

This memoir was very well written, and it deserves all the acclaim it has received throughout the years. This is the type of stories and lives that deserve to be told because they bring attention to the poverty and other issues that exist in America and hopefully influences people to do something about. Just because I was not motivated to read the beginning of this book does not mean that it was not good so I would encourage you guys to read this if you are interested about reading memoirs of children who grew up in troubled families.

Overall, it took awhile, but I ended up really enjoying this memoir! I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking to read more memoirs or biographies or anyone who just wants to try! I know this is a little different since it is not a YA book, but I've been trying to branch out a bit, so this was definitely a success!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars!

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