Book Review: The Glass Castle

Happy Thursday morning. Is anyone reading anything interesting right now? I'm still in the middle of my great Christmas Bible study, but I'm also reading a good book (a bit tough to read) that I can't wait to tell you about.

But, now, I'll tell you about one that I read a month or two ago.
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. 

Walls tells her own story of growing up with an alcoholic father and... adventurous (? irresponsible?) mother. As bleak as that sounds, her father, when sober, taught her siblings and her plenty about physics, geology, and, when bill collectors came, "how to do the skedaddle." Told in a very matter-of-fact manner, Walls tells of a life of poverty and dysfunction, but with affection for her family.

I liked this book. I probably wouldn't have if Walls wouldn't have been so even-keel in her tone of telling the story. She tells the story as if every family left half a stick of butter for 3 children to have for dinner, then nada for the next two days. It haunted me -- that people really live this way. Here. In America. Yet, it encouraged me -- that people move beyond it. On their own.

I have read memoirs of similar hard times that I couldn't get through because it was told in a less gracious tone, I think. Walls retained the adventure her parents instilled in her and led me to believe it was all just that -- a grand adventure.

As tough as it was to read, I highly recommend it.

Then, Walls went on to further explain her mother by telling her grandmother's story in Half-Broke Horses. Fascinating and another great read.

Would you want to read a book like this? That you know is going to be hard?


stephanie said...

I read the glass Castle and loved it too. I had a similarly unconventional family and upbringing, in the sense that I was often left to fend for myself and the adventures ensued. It's true, she tells the story that was her "normal" so she retains a great deal of human dignity for her family, despite their hardships. The part that really gave me chills was that time she was left on the side of a desert highway and her parents drove off and forgot her... I can't even begin to imagine.

Sarah S. said...

We were talking about it this week at book club -- and I had forgotten when they locked her in the U-Haul with her siblings (and the BABY!!) where they couldn't hear them. Oh, my stars. Jana Anderson sent me to the Amazon link for that book (you can click on the title in my post) and there is a video interview with her that includes her mother. Man. She has a much better outlook on life than I would.

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