Cat Conner's Reviews > The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
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May 10, 10

bookshelves: young-adult-literature-reviews
Recommended to Cat by: Tawny Kemp
Recommended for: fans of family drama.
I own a copy, read count: 1

"The Glass Castle" is the heartbreaking autobiography of Jeannette Walls. Jeannette depicts her adolescence in Arizona, California, Nevada, West Virginia, and New York Her life literally revolves around her parents and her three siblings. As Jeannette's parents drag their children from city to city, state to state, in a tragically vagrant manner, Jeannette learns much more than she should about growing up. She witnesses infidelity, prostitution, and attempted rape. That's just the first half of the book.

Though the book is set in several locations, the real setting of "The Glass Castle" is the poverty and chaos in which Jeannette lives. Constantly relocating is merely a state of mind. Jeannette's family is actually moving away from or toward problem after problem, usually her father's alcoholism or her mother's aversion to putting her education to good use for her family.

The most fascinating aspect of "The Glass Castle" is the character depiction. Though Jeannette's family is autobiographical, they are more real than those we meet in the real world, and far more interesting. Her father is constantly challenging the reader's opinion of him with his seesaw behavior and moral ambiguity. Jeannette's mother defies the term "nuturing", and her siblings house a host of insecurities and strength.

One cannot help but turn page after page in this tragic and beautifully descriptive story of trial and life education. Though the ending loses the main focus of the novel, it is a real life adventure from which anyone can learn.
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