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The Glass Castle

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  682,937 Ratings  ·  43,515 Reviews
A tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that, despite its profound flaws, gave the author the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like
...more
Paperback, First edition, 288 pages
Published January 17th 2006 by Scribner (first published March 2005)
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Popular Answered Questions

Tara glass castle = broken promises

Her father was constantly saying, "Have I ever let you down?"
The glass Castle was the grandiose of promises the father…more
glass castle = broken promises

Her father was constantly saying, "Have I ever let you down?"
The glass Castle was the grandiose of promises the father made.
From the start of the book to the end of the book Jeannettes vision and hope for the glass castle changed.

I think it was a perfect title, in my opinion.(less)
Lisa
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

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Meredith
My sister saw The Glass Castle on my coffee table and said, “Oh, I read that. It’s kind of . . .” then she paused and we both were awkwardly silent for a minute. “Well, I was going to say, it’s kind of like us, a little bit, but not –“

“Yeah,” I said. “I wasn’t going to say it – because not all of it – “

“Yeah, not all of it.”

We didn’t talk about it again.

When I first saw this book, I think I died a little inside because of the cover. I didn’t hate The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood like
...more
Emily May
Mar 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Now I get why people like this memoir so much.

Though it is a memoir and a true story, both the writing style and the way Walls reminisces about her childhood make it seem like more of a fairy tale. My favourite non-fiction books are those that don't lose the compelling flow of a good fiction book - that still pull you into another world and life, dragging you along for the ride. This is one of those.

I especially liked reading about Walls' complex and conflicting thoughts about her parents and ch
...more
Elyse
Nov 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Another Update: I just saw the movie!!! I liked it! Woody Harrelson - Brie Larson
and Naomi Watts were all great! I thought they got the important 'duel' emotions just right. On one end - the parents did not 'protect' their kids appropriately at all-- lots of crazy dangerous chaos-
On the other end - there was no question the parents loved wholeheartedly their children AND there were 'some' great gifts they gave their children - so our emotions are 'mixed'.
At the end of the movie when they show
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Angela Cross
Nov 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I guess I have a somewhat different frame of reference than several of the reviewers here. I can relate to many of the lessons she learned, and as such, I never had an issue believing her. These things can and do happen. The system fails children, and addicts (whether they're addicted to alcohol or excitement) will seek their fix above all else. As long as the addiction is in the picture, the person just doesn't exist. Children in alcoholic families eventually become aware of this, and the soone ...more
Krenzel
May 08, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ala-notables
"The Glass Castle" is a memoir written by gossip columnist Jeanette Walls, which details her unconventional childhood growing up with an alcoholic father and a mother who seems to be mentally ill. Walls begins the book by explaining what has prompted her to write about her family: after she has "made it" and become a successful writer living in New York, she comes across her mother picking trash out of a dumpster and, in shame, slinks down in her taxi seat and pretends not to see or know her. La ...more
Raeleen Lemay
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, nonfiction
4.5/5

This was really good! Difficult to read at times, but a marvellous book.
Annalisa
Oct 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Annalisa by: bookclub
What I loved about this book is this: it presents her parents, with all their faults, and the poor mentality, at its worst, without anger, exasperation, or even really any judgment, just with the quirky love we all view our own childhoods. If she had been bitter in her description it would not have been believable, but instead it was tinged with forgiveness making me respect her for not only surviving such a strange childhood to become a successful, even functioning, adult but for being able to ...more
Fabian
Jul 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
The warning is this: If you are going to become parents you must simply forego being bohemian. Otherwise your children might grow up to be super successful & you will end up eating trash off dark alleyways...

Peculiar upbringings are what memoirs are made of! We saw this in the Frank McCourt gray & sad "Angela's Ashes", & even more so in any of the Augusten Burroughs books (mainly "Running with Scissors"). When memoirs are like this, invigoratingly Roald Dahlesque in painting pictures
...more
Kate
May 23, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
This book really made me angry--why can people who have absolutely no business having kids be able to have four?

Let me backtrack...

In the beginning, the Walls family is always on the run. The father is an alcoholic, who is intelligent, but believes everything upon everything is a conspiracy. He can't get a job because of the mafia, the government, the gestapo...The mother has a teaching degree, but chooses to be an artist. The family is barely able to scrape by; the father spends any money they
...more
Juliet
Sep 17, 2007 rated it it was ok
Okay, I originally gave this one star but then had to go back and re-rate it to a two b/c I surprised a couple of you guys and in my impulsive way, I realized perhaps one star was a bit too knee jerk.

It's not that I hated The Glass Castle, it's just that it irritated me with its self-conscious narrative style. Too much "look at how horrible things were!" and not enough detail or challenges to make me really care.

The same stories are told and re-told throughout the memoir novel, and they rely too
...more
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movie 4 11 Jan 17, 2018 06:09PM  
Thread #1: Diction p.(1-76) 1 2 Jan 17, 2018 01:12PM  
The Bibliophiles: December BOTM: The Glass Castle 2 9 Jan 01, 2018 08:54AM  
Do you think that Jeanette's parents were good parents? 77 887 Dec 13, 2017 01:27AM  
Around the Year i...: The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls 14 88 Nov 26, 2017 03:44PM  
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Jeannette Walls is a writer and journalist.

Born in Phoenix, Arizona, she graduated with honors from Barnard College, the women's college affiliated with Columbia University. She published a bestselling memoir, The Glass Castle, in 2005. The book is being adapted into a film coming to theaters this August 11th.
More about Jeannette Walls...
“Things usually work out in the end."
"What if they don't?"
"That just means you haven't come to the end yet.”
990 likes
“You should never hate anyone, even your worst enemies. Everyone has something good about them. You have to find the redeeming quality and love the person for that.” 491 likes
More quotes…