Sunday, April 18, 2010

Book Review: The Glass Castle

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.

--From Goodreads

Cover Inspection:
This cover actually caught my eye because of how simple it was.

First Thoughts:
Wow, these parents. Not the best.


My Review:

Opening this book instantly tosses you into the life of Jeanette Walls. Caught in a whirlwind journey through cities and states, this book carries you along to the point that you forget you are reading. I became completely immersed in Jeanette's life from the very first page.

The reader follows her through love, betrayal, hardship and plenty. While reading this book, I found myself constantly thinking about my family. Despite the lack of stability in her life, Jeanette talks about her family so loyally, so devotedly, that I could not believe it. Watching her grow up and seeing her escape into her own life was amazing.

If you enjoy good character writing, you will love this book. It isn't even just because the characters are real people. No, the way Jeanette writes her family makes you feel like you are a part of it. Some you will hate, some you will love, some you feel so horribly bad for that you want to reach into the book and give a reassuring hug. It sounds a bit cliche, but this is truly a story about rags to riches.

Jeanette Walls did not have an easy life by any means, but she was able to take what she was given and weave it into an amazing story. This book is definitely a must read!

Book Details
Title: The Glass Castle
Author: Jeanette Walls
Publisher: Scribner
Pages: Paperback; 288
Source: Purchased at a thrift store

Final Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
[+/-] Click to see rating.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you enjoyed this story. I Bookmooched a copy and look forward to reading it. Thanks for the review.



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