KimN ~ The Glass Castle

13 10 2009

The Glass Castle ~ Jeannette Walls

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I’ve had a few people recommend this book to me and I don’t think I have EVER read a memoir before… the first 15 pages (which I read last night) were very intriguing…

Now I’m going to make a mug of steaming apple cider (its the first day of October but it already feels like winter and its freezing!!) and hunker down with this book for the evening.

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Oct 13 – I finished this book on Thursday and absolutely loved it!  As I said, it was probably the first memoir I’ve ever read.  I don’t even know how to start writing out my thoughts on this book… I have so many!  The novel opens with a successful, grow-up Jeannette spotting her homeless mother rifling through a garbage bin.  Then Walls switches gears and takes you back to her childhood, starting at the age of 3.  It is hard to imagine growing up in the Walls household, with a father who spends his money on booze and parts for his elaborate inventions, and a mother who would rather focus on her artistic career (if you could call it that…) than use her teaching certificate to work and provide for her family.  Although their parent’s priorities were all wrong, the Walls children found ways to get by and made life an adventure as they moved throughout the country, living wherever they could find room.  It is interesting to read Jeannette’s take on how each of her siblings adjusted to life.

I really enjoyed how Walls chose to format the novel – it is a series of short stories or excerpts.  This makes it really easy to pick up and read, and it was interesting how the excerpts all tied together even though Walls didn’t use many transitions at the beginning or endings of the excerpts.

I would highly recommend this tale of the resilience of the Walls children in the face of a number of odds.  The success of this novel alone is a true testament to the drive and determination of Jeannette Walls to overcome the experiences and living arrangments of their childhood.