The Glass Castle

Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Jeanette Walls

Initially, I was horrified as I read the account of Jeannette’s highly dysfunctional family. Neither of her parents were willing to hold a job for any length of time (although her mother was a college graduate with a teaching degree) and the deplorable conditions of the numerous shacks the Walls children called home made my skin crawl. They were almost always hungry (to the point of regularly searching through the trash of others for food) and, as they made their way east across the U.S., spent many freezing days and nights. There is a particularly memorable scene in the book as Jeannette describes a very rare trip to the laundry mat where she and her sisters and brother huddle around the dryers to try to warm themselves. What I can’t deny is that three of the four Walls children amazingly became hard-working, very creative and useful members of society. The three oldest children are as close a family as any I’ve ever heard of, and their personal triumphs made my soul sing. This book is a testament to the resilience of children, and an inspiration to those of us who did not come from a “storybook” background. Loved it.

Kathleen M., Administration

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