Marian's Reviews > The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
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's review
Nov 19, 2008

really liked it
Read in November, 2008

If anyone would have an excuse to give up on life it would be Jeanette. As a child she lived in deplorable conditions at the hands of her alcoholic father and mentally unstable mother. But instead of breaking her, the condition of her life made her resilient. This book is hopeful and inspiring.

What I did miss from the book was a description of the true shame and anger she must have felt in coming to terms with such a horrid childhood. The tone was so matter-of-fact and accepting. Jeanette seemed to be holding back more emotion and struggle than she actually portrayed; which, to me, does not make the book completely honest.

(The language often used is definitely PG-13 material.)
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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Teri I liked that the book was more matter-of-fact because so often with autobiographies they just sound whiny - "poor me, this is my life". She lets the reader see how it was and draw their own conclusions as to how many years of therapy she needed.

Marian So true. The tone of the book was surprisingly very positive about this horrific life. Don't you wish she had been able to stand up to her dad or confront him with some sort of emotional response to all the trouble he had caused them?

Eliece Her tone and positive attitude was definitely what I loved about the book too. She took what life handed her and dealt with it. I don't think she felt like a victim of a bad childhood. She saw positive in both parents and appreciated it.

Teri I think she did stand up to her dad but not in the conventional sense - when she wouldn't believe in his glass castle anymore and left for New York. That must have had some impact on him???Or maybe he was too drunk? I'm voting she's still in therapy in order to see that positive in her parents! I did love the piano story though.

Marian As I was reading, I was begging her to somehow deny her father money the summer her mother was gone. But, you're right--she definitely stood up to him when she chose to leave; and by not allowing them to infest her life in NY, even if it meant they were on the streets. I loved how inventive she and her brother were in taking care of each other and how fiercely they protected one another.

Stacy I thought and hoped she would deny her father the money too, but I think that it showed how even then, she wanted to believe him.

I loved how they all stood up for each in the part where the grandma is abusing Brian, and the girls stick up and fight for him. It was terrible what was happening, but it made my heart swell with pride that they were confident children who stood up for themselves and each other.

message 7: by Marian (last edited Nov 22, 2008 06:55AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Marian My friend emailed this interview to me. Jeanette really is a remarkable person. http://conversationsfamouswriters.blo...

Eliece It would be interesting to hear this story told by each of the siblings. I think they would all have a different take and reaction to their childhood.

Teri I agree. She seemed to imply that her brother's attitude was not as forgiving as hers.

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