The Glass Castle

The Glass CastleWe all have struggles throughout our lives but it seems some just have more than others. I can’t deny that I was very lucky to have the childhood even with the few issues I had along the way. My family never struggled financially, I always had both parents around, I always had clothes and there was always food on the table.

The same cannot be said for Jeannette Walls, the author of the memoir The Glass Castle, who grew up in poverty moving around the country with her mother, father, brother and two sisters. While they always basically had a roof over their heads they rarely had food on the table and for a while didn’t have indoor plumbing.

Her father Rex was an alcoholic who would rather spend time at the bar drinking and gambling than working. Her mother Rose Mary was a painter who also felt she shouldn’t have to work and considered being homeless “an adventure.” When Jeannette was young it all did feel like an adventure most of the time but as she got older she started to realize how bad they had it.

Despite having to (pull)dig through the trashcan after lunch in the school cafeteria for food(/pull) and being mercilessly teased at school for always being dirty Jeannette found a way to rise above it all. Whenever she spoke about her childhood she rarely had a tone of bitterness, which was hard to comprehend when she fell out of the car on the highway when the door flew open and her parents took over an hour to come back to get her.

By the end of the story I tried to come to terms with the way her parents acted (as she seemed to) but I simply couldn’t. While her parents had their good qualities for the most part they acted utterly selfish ignoring their children’s needs. Even though the family always bonded together at the end of the day it is painful to think of little children having to suffer as they did.

But I am humbled to see how everyone still fought for what they needed out of life and survived despite everything they went through. It just shows that you can achieve anything if you want it bad enough. If this story says anything it’s that you never give up, no matter what.


  1. Gemini

    January 15, 2007 at 10:27 am

    I will definatly be going to get this book at the Library this week.. 🙂

  2. Joefish

    January 15, 2007 at 12:14 pm

    That reminds me of Angela’s Ashes.

    I love that pullquote effect. That’s very sharp.

  3. Robin

    January 15, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    Never read Angela’s Ashes, I’ll look that one up.

  4. Miss Ann

    January 15, 2007 at 12:37 pm

    Angela’s Ashes was pretty good. It was kinda sad for me (well, it’s sad anyway) because my family is Irish and I grew up hearing stories just like it from my grandparents who lived the same way.

    I just ordered this book tho and I think based on the excerpt that I’ll like it a lot.

  5. Robin

    January 15, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    Miss Ann – Let me know how you like it.

  6. Heather B

    January 15, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    will have to check it out

  7. Mr. Fabulous

    January 15, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    Wow…it sounds like a remarkable story…

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