Sarah Beth's Reviews > The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
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's review
Nov 16, 2010

really liked it

The Glass Castle is one of those best selling books that you hear a lot about and when you sit down to read them are convinced they won't live up to the hype, but actually do. I was deeply moved by Walls' personal tale of growing up in a highly unconventional family and astonished that she and her three siblings managed to not only survive (seriously, boiling hotdogs alone at age 3??) but to become such great successes. I imagine that the most difficult part of this work was deciding to write it after hiding her true origins for most of her adult life, but Walls successfully shows her family in both their despair and insanity but also their glory and brilliance.

I wanted two things from this book that I didn't find. First, was more emotion. Walls does a superb job of showing v. telling and thus avoids the self-pity card almost entirely, but as a reader I kept feeling myself wanting more reaction rather from the character Jeanette rather than an abrupt end to the chapter. The second was just plain more. How did she cover up her origins for so long? What was the hardest part about transitioning to a more conventional way of life without exposing her past? But the fact that I'm wanting more from the author, that she has provoked thought and interest in her readers shows that with her life story, she has done her job as a writer.
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