Shayantani Das's Reviews > The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
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Jun 24, 2011

really liked it
Read from February 08 to 11, 2012

Jeannette Walls, as a narrator, is such a delight to read. My first thought after finishing this novel was that I really really want to meet her in person. I had zero knowledge about who she was before I picked up her memoir, primarily due to the high ratings it has received from friends. After reading “The Glass Castle” though, I am most definitely a fan.

Jeannette Walls had the kind of life, which could have easily been recounted in a typical Bollywood movie way. That means the”Oh, I suffered soo much”and “oh, my childhood!” way. In fact, that was a major concern I had while picking up this book. I can’t sympathize with whinny people, even if they have actually been through a lot. Hopefully, our narrator is nothing like that. Self pity is a luxury she never indulges in. She narrates the sometimes sweet and other times horrifying incidents of her childhood and her life with her careless, irresponsible but still loving parents, without any judgement. She is so honest about her life and brave and I am amazed!

What I love the most is how, the tone of the narrator’s recollection change as she grows up. As a 3 year old, she is mesmerized with her parents, loving their adventure seeking nature. At 6, while travelling in the back of the truck, she is uncomfortable but not angry. Gradually, as years go by, with increasing interaction with the world, the realization and resentment seep in. She goes through every betrayal, gulps down her disappointment, works hard and finally gets out from Welch to New York, to success, to self empowerment. There is very little rage and bitterness in the whole narrative. It is so refreshing to read about.

In spite of its realistic portrayal of a child’s mind, there are a few annoying questions which popped in my mind. 1) She remembers conversations she had at the age of 3? 2) She read classics at 5? (MATILDA alert!) . 3) The barbeque incident? At 3?
How can she………..Oh well, what the hell!
I liked this book, end of the story, stupid mind, and stop analyzing!
4stars, recommended!
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Reading Progress

02/10/2012 page 198
69.0% "Jeannette Walls is such a good narrator!" 2 comments
03/19/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-14 of 14) (14 new)

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Mikki This was one of my most favorite memoirs. Are you enjoying it so far?

Shayantani Das I love the narrator!

Judy Now you need to read Half Broke Horses which is the account of her grandmother's life. One spunky lady. It is classified "fiction" because she didn't have the documentation for it to be classified as non-fiction.

Mikki Great review, Tanu. I'm going to take Judy's advice and look into Half Broke Horses.

Shayantani Das Thank you, I will check it out.

Judy I can't imagine you both not loving it.

message 7: by Vishy (new)

Vishy Glad to know that you liked this book. I loved it when I read it. Love your 4-stars :)

message 8: by Sakshi (new)

Sakshi chandra amazing review, Tanu!

Shayantani Das Sakshi wrote: "amazing review, Tanu!"

I am going to faint! You! On goodreads! It’s a historic moment for GR.

message 10: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Tanu, nice review. BTW, I always have the sneaking suspicion about all memoirs I read, that they are less than 100% truthful: even if the writer is an honest person, how can they remember what happened years ago, unless they were in the habit of taking notes and keeping diaries? And many memoirs of which I was suspicious (The Long Walk, Sleepers) have been challenged for their veracity recently.

However, as you say, as long as the book is a nice read and the writer does not make unearthly claims, I also don't analyse much.

Shayantani Das Does a 4 year old reading The Grapes of Wrath count as an unearthly claim? :P

message 12: by Nandakishore (new)

Nandakishore Varma Tanu wrote: "Does a 4 year old reading The Grapes of Wrath count as an unearthly claim? :P"

Maybe not unearthly, more of unlikely... however, there are child prodigies. But the writer of The Long Walk claimed to have seen the Yeti in the Himalayas... now, that may be called "unearthly"!;)

Dejamey It does seem hard to imagine someone remembering things that happened when they were 3/4 years old but it does happen. I myself remember a few things that happened to me when I was that age. Particularly because it was during the only time I lived with my mother, my grandmother raised me and my Sister two years younger than me. I remember my Sister and I playing in a cardboard box and watching my mother and her boyfriend shooting up in the kitchen and when my mother realized I was watching, told her boyfriend to "go do it in the bathroom".

My Sister and I didn’t have very many toys and spent most of our time playing together and a lot of our time alone at home. I remember the school behind our house and crawling through the fence to play on the swings. Because I was the oldest it was my responsibility to watch my Sister. To make sure she ate, bathed her and put her to bed. These things you don’t forget. So yes, it is possible to remember what happened when you’re that young.

message 14: by Judy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Judy I don't find it too difficult, Tanu. I have some very clear memories from 3/4. Most are about things that puzzled me at the time. :-)

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