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The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls is a memoir about a family that is less than perfect and determined to seek out a life they define.

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents who took nonconformity to another level.  Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children, one boy and three girls–Jeannette being the second oldest. When Jeannette was young, her family lived a nomadic life–moving from place to place, sleeping in cars and camping in the desert.

Sometimes they scavenged for food and sometimes they ate like kings. All four kids grew up bookworms–studying geometry, art, history and basically any interesting fact their parents could get their hands on. Discipline took a back-burner to life; Rose Mary and Rex believed strongly in the sink or swim method of life lessons.

Although, they often went hungry and life could beat you down, there was something magical and adventurous about those early years on the road. But all that changed when the family moved to rural West Virginia and life deteriorated until the kids were all but surviving.

This is the story of a dysfunctional family that stuck together until they didn’t.

Anyone who follows my blog or reviews knows that I am not a big nonfiction person. I will occasionally listen to a biography or a narrative driven historical non-fiction but I’d rather jump out of my skin than get under someone else’s>>does that make sense? So for me, this book was beautifully written… just not for me.

When I first picked up this book I didn’t realize it was a memoir. And then reading what these kids went through, I really didn’t think it was a memoir until I looked it up on Amazon. Jeez, what a life Jeannette had and I am sure this book doesn’t even cover half of it. You’ve got to be extremely lucky to survive a life like that and come out the other side still intact.

The characters I think most people will focus on are erratic Rose Mary and charismatic Rex. But you know who I would have loved to get a closer look at… Jeannette’s brother. Although he and Jeannette were more like twins then brother and sister, Brian was the only boy and just a really interesting person in my opinion. I’d love to see this journey from his perspective.

Overall, this was a read about overcoming adversity and living life the best you can no matter what type of life you lead. This book gets 3.5 stars from me.

That’s all for now!


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