Monday, April 21, 2014

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

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Publication date: 2005
Publisher: Scribner
Pages: 288
My rating: 4 stars
Ages: 18+

In this memoir, Walls gives an in depth view of what it was like for her growing up in the 1960s and 70s, roaming from place to place with her parents. Her father--an intelligent, creative man with a drinking problem--and her mother--an artist and writer without any real maternal instinct--pack their family up and move all across the west anytime they lose a job or get so behind in their bills they have to leave to avoid paying their debt. Finally, they end up in West Virginia, when the four Walls kids are old enough to realize that they want more than the life they had had, causing all four to leave their parents and move to New York.

The writing of this memoir is amazing. There were times when I had to remind myself that the things Walls wrote about actually happened, and that it wasn't just a story. This is definitely a case of truth being stranger than fiction--the life Walls led as a child is so fantastical that it's hard to believe that anyone could have gone through everything she did in the time that she lived.

The Glass Castle is an amazing journey through a daughter's eyes as she goes from holding her father in the highest esteem to becoming disillusioned when she realizes how his drinking has affected him and their whole family. Walls had to learn that even when you love someone, you sometimes have to leave because it's what is best for you. It doesn't mean that you love them any less. In a way, this is really a book about family, and how to be a family.

I put the age rating high because there is mention of sexual assault and some swearing, as well as the subject matter being mature.

*I do not receive compensation from Amazon.

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