Aug 19, 09
Recommended to Nancy by:
Read in August, 2009, read count: 1
This book is wonderful, happy, sad all tied up into a true tale of a family of drifters. The parents aren't the most responsible folk - in fact, they may be nearly the most irresponsible folk I've read about in quite awhile.
The book begins with the author,Jeannette Walls, at age three, cooking hotdogs for supper because mom is painting. Her frilly dress gets caught in the flames and she is burned, spending quite some time in the hospital. Her dad shows up one night and tells her they have to "do the skedaddle" and off the go. Again. Shedaddle is played often, whenever the bills run high, the drink runs out or just "whenever."
The kids (there are four) live on what they can find while mom paints, dad occasionally works and drinks. The parents don't feel children should be disciplined but, rather, left to grow up on their own which will make them more self-reliant. That is, if they live through it.
Despite this, the story is gripping. You are always waiting for something else to befall the Walls family. It usually does. The writintg is superb, the tales I'm sure were hard to tell in some cases but the kids persevered. A book worth reading if only to remind you that your parents weren't so bad, after all.