Monday, June 18, 2012
The Glass Castle
Last week I read a book called The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. A friend was giving away some books and I grabbed a big stack. The title intrigued me but I really had no idea what it was going to be about. It had been on the New York Bestseller list and the author's other novel was also pretty well known.
The Glass Castle is the story of the author's life, a memoir. I don't think I've ever read about a childhood like this one. And I don't know if I want to read one like it again. I can't count the number of times I thought, "I cannot believe her parents!" "This poor girl" or "Oh my goodness! This is awful." But at the same time, I couldn't put the book down. I wanted to find out how she got out of this situation. I wanted to see her redeemed.
She grew up with a mother who didn't want to impose rules on her children, didn't want to cook, or work when they needed money. So, her four children went wild and hungry most of the time. Her father saw himself as an inventor, but had no money to build his inventions and couldn't keep a job for long. Any money he did come across was used on gambling or drinking. They moved around that country, often to evade the police. Neighbors were often perverts or drunks, probably both and multiple times the children found themselves in situations you wouldn't wish on anybody.
Jeannette was smart and did well in school. She was also ambitious and knew if she got out of her family situation, she would survive and even do well. The last few chapters summarize her life in New York City where she does in fact do very well for herself. Her parents on the other hand, follow her to New York and decide being homeless is the way of life for them.
Her life was and is completely different from mine. this book was hard to read at times, but very interesting.