Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Sometimes, I think my life is hard. Then I read a book like “The Glass Castle”, a memoir by Jeanette Walls, and I realize how charmed a life I live. Her childhood and adolescence are one continual experience in chaos and terror. Under the supervision of two self-absorbed, somewhat delusional parents, Walls and her siblings were left to figure out how the world worked on their own. It is a wonder that any of the children lived to adulthood. Walls’ early years included being thrown from a car, burned, beat up, sexually assaulted, and starved –all due to the negligence of her parents. Walls’ candor about her and family’s experiences and detailed accounts are startling and disturbing.

I have a hard time believing that Walls recalled all these details on her own. Three-year-olds cannot describe with perfect clarity how so many things happened, but Walls does paint vivid pictures. This is not a book I will ever revisit, and I do not think it is a book for everyone. That said, it is a powerful account of the effect our choices have on other people and the incredible ability we have to overcome the all sadness, disappointment, and injustice we experience in our lives.

(ps. If I had my way, this would be a 3.5 - not a 4, but I don't make the goodreads rules...)

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