The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Published: 2005

Genre: nonfiction biography

Length: 288 pages

Setting: various parts of the U.S., 1960s (I’m guessing) to the present

Interest: It was recommended by a friend of mine who’d read the book and was telling everyone to read it.

Summary: We follow the story of Jeannette’s rather unconventional life. Her father didn’t bother to follow rules he didn’t agree with (which were many of them), so he never kept a job for long, and the family often “did the skedaddle” in the middle of the night. As a result, they moved around to many desert towns when they were growing up. Their mother didn’t believe in encouraging dependence, so the kids were pretty much on their own. Often, they barely had enough money to buy food, so they were always scrounging. Their most stable time period was when they moved back to their gather’s hometown in Welch, WV. Eventually, the kids moved to NYC to get away from their parents and have some success in life.

Final thoughts: I felt so sorry for the kids in the Walls family. The kids were never abused in the I hate you/you’re terrible/beat the devil out of you sense, but there was a whole lot of neglect going on. Each kid dealt with the hardship in a different way. They ended up mostly OK, but it was through absolutely no help from their parents, or even any adult. The father was an alcoholic so I can understand where his lack of caring came from. Although, when he started using Jeannette as bait to fleece money from older guys, he lost all credibility in my mind. The mother had her own problems. She just didn’t want to take the effort to take care of her kids and figured they should be able to take care of themselves. And then the parents were so surprised and disappointed when the kids all moved away from them to NYC. Overall, the book has stuck with me and made me think about my life in comparison.

Title comes from: The dad had big plans to build a glass castle for the family to live in, just as soon as he perfected his latest scheme to make some money.

Reading challenges fulfilled: 46/100 in my Finally to 100 Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!


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