Hi everyone! This week’s book review has already been released on the big screen, so you may have either seen the film or read the book. It is a memoir by Jeannette Walls called The Glass Castle.
About the Book (Synopsis from Amazon)
This is a startling memoir of a successful journalist’s journey from the deserted and dusty mining towns of the American Southwest, to an antique filled apartment on Park Avenue. Jeanette Walls narrates her nomadic and adventurous childhood with her dreaming, ‘brilliant’ but alcoholic parents.
At the age of seventeen she escapes on a Greyhound bus to New York with her older sister; her younger siblings follow later. After pursuing the education and civilisation her parents sought to escape, Jeanette eventually succeeds in her quest for the ‘mundane, middle class existence’ she had always craved. In her apartment, overlooked by ‘a portrait of someone else’s ancestor’ she recounts poignant remembered images of star watching with her father, juxtaposed with recollections of irregular meals, accidents and police-car chases and reveals her complex feelings of shame, guilt, pity and pride toward her parents.
Honestly, I was startled! Startled by such a bizarre and dysfunctional upbringing she had. They truly were a family like no other and her story made me stop and have to remind myself that this is not fiction, this was Jeannette Walls childhood. How, out of such a disturbing and maybe unintentionally harsh childhood, this person’s loyalty towards her parents never wavered.
Jeannette Walls grew up with a father who went from been drunken and dishonest one day to teaching his children all of life’s valuable lessons the next and a mother who, just didn’t want the responsibilities of been a mother, and didn’t hide that fact from her children either.
Throughout their childhood, the Walls children looked after one another, feeding themselves with what little they had. One after the other, they moved to New York, supporting each other and there they built a normal life for themselves.
I am still totally baffled that even though their parents followed them to New York eventually they, in their strangely dysfunctional ways, opted to remain homeless and choose a life of poverty. This is beyond any free spirit lifestyle I have ever heard of!
Though this should certainly be a sad story of this family’s hardship, because of how brilliantly it has been written, it is a truly uplifting story of loyalty and perseverance and one I thoroughly enjoyed!
More About The Book
The Glass Castle was released in March 2005 and is written by Jeannette Walls. It has already been made into a film which was released in August 2017.