By Jeannette Walls
Published in 2005 by Scribner
Paperback, 298 pages
Read: April 29, 2015 to November 20, 2016
The Glass Castle is Jeannette Walls' memoir, published in 2005 where she recounts the unconventional and poverty-stricken upbringing she and her three siblings endured at the hands of their eccentric artist, possibly mentally ill, mother and their alcoholic father who may have also suffered from a mental illness.
Walls weaves together the good and bad childhood experiences and young adulthood memories into a powerful memoir that made me so grateful for my own upbringing and good childhood. Walls proved through her life experiences that it's possible to overcome adversity and become successful in her own right rather than blame others for what she can control. She recognized that it was in her own power to change her life rather than blame others. She captured her fathers alcoholism and his different personalities of sober and drunkenness. We see that her parents loved her and her siblings in their own unique ways. We have a brief glimpse at both of her parents upbringings and, understandably, didn't get more details because they were both very close-mouthed about their own childhoods. Much like Jeannette was when she moved to New York City. She was ashamed of her parents and where she came from and felt compelled to lie to cover it up for fear of being found out and proven to be a fraud. Yet, she was fortunate to have a few teachers and employers who saw her hard work, talent for writing and getting the story out there for people to read. I can't believe I ever let this sit on my bookshelf half unread for a year and a half. I spent half a day reading the last 150 pages because I wanted to find out what happened. I wanted to know how Walls made it to being a successful author.
Walls has an innate ability to write stories together seamlessly and not lose the reader. It is easy to follow the passage of time between several stories, especially later in the book between her middle school and high school years. Just a few simple sentences explain the important details and you'll feel like you didn't miss a beat.
A must read for everyone.
My rating: 5 out of 5