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It is, in fact, unclear what Walls actually does value — will she continue to identify success with the material trappings of her "normal" life in New York, or will she ultimately reject the conventional life, as her parents did? Without more reflection from Walls, particularly in this concluding section of the book, readers are left to their own interpretation of "the truth" about her parents — are they just a drunk father and a lazy mother, or is there something more to it?

The "Glass Castle" is an addicting page-turner that should captivate any reader. I chose to discount some of her parents' flaws and instead read this book as an homage to her parents. To me, the key passage in the book is when Walls visits a classmate's home in West Virginia and sees the empty walls in the house in stark contrast to her own home, which is cluttered with paintings and books and decorations and rejects the notion that her classmate's father, passed out on the couch, bares any resemblance to her own father.

After Walls recounts the story to her family, her mother replies that she should show compassion for her classmate because not everybody has "all the advantages you kids do. Walls' family may not provide her with much in the way of tangible goods, but they give her things that are more lasting — a belief in herself, a passion for reading and writing, an appreciation for things a lot of us take for granted, and most of all love.

In the end, it was not important whether her parents actually built her a glass castle. It was that they gave her the idea of a glass castle. By overcoming her shame for her parents and writing this memoir, Walls seems to recognize this truth about her parents — that, like the Joshua tree, there was beauty in their struggle. View all 16 comments. Mar 16, Raeleen Lemay rated it it was amazing Shelves: Difficult to read at times, but a marvellous book. View all 3 comments.

Jul 13, Fabian rated it really liked it. The warning is this: If you are going to become parents you must simply forego being bohemian. Peculiar upbringings are what memoirs are made of! When memoirs are like this, invigoratingly Roald Dahlesque in painting pictures The warning is this: When memoirs are like this, invigoratingly Roald Dahlesque in painting pictures of past predicaments No matter how bad you have it, someone somewhere sometime probably had it worse.

The Walls children 3 of the 4, at least become inspired by their nomadic parents, wanting to be so unlike their progenitors that they actually turn their lives around. That she appreciates it and maintains a smile is the very heart of this nonfic gem. PS--Can't wait to see the movie. View all 8 comments. Oct 13, Annalisa rated it it was amazing Recommended to Annalisa by: What I loved about this book is this: 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 What I loved about this book is this: 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 view her past with impartiality.

What was thought-provoking for me was the idea that if you think you're a victim you are and if you don't you're not. As appalling as her mother's reaction was to her troubles, it's true. We do overprotect our children at the price of their own growth sometimes. And in this society we are on the jumpy side when it comes to misconduct, but telling someone they have been victimized isn't always best for them.

We've gone so much to the other extreme that it was good to reconsider a sway more toward center. There has to be a medium where we aren't making children grow up as toddlers but also not sheltering them from making their own decisions until their adults. There are also a lot of class "poor" mentalities in the book. The way the family never planned for the future as in aimed to use any gift or income to exponentially improve their lives, but horded means until they ran out.

They tore down what they had until it ran out. They lived day to day. They took advantage when they could. The old adage that you give a man a fish he'll eat for a day but teach him to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime is moot. They were not concerned with bettering their station in life only getting all they could out of it today.

I found it strange that both parents were so highly intelligent and capable and yet they chose to be homeless. It bothered me that they thought the best existence would be to throw their burdens on society and let it care for them without realizing, or caring, that someone was paying and working for their existence. It bothered me that they didn't think of their children's welfare above their own but used them like they would any other member of society. At times I found my blood boiling at the actions of her parents.

That's what dysfunction will do to you. And yet, she presents the incidents without anger or hurt. It shaped her glasses of the world. But the past isn't a happy place to live. She took what good she could from her experience or bad to learn from and moved determinedly from a childhood she didn't enjoy into an adulthood she could pick. And that's what a memoir should do: View all 5 comments.

May 23, Kate rated it really liked it Shelves: This book really made me angry--why can people who have absolutely no business having kids be able to have four? 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 This book really made me angry--why can people who have absolutely no business having kids be able to have four? The family is barely able to scrape by; the father spends any money they have on alcohol, the kids barely eat, and all this time, the mother sits around, doing nothing but reading.

In fact, at one point, the 12 year old narrator Jeannette tells her mother that she needs to get a job, and her mother says that it's "not fair" that she has to work. Later, when Jeannette suggests that her mother get a job and home with a wealthy family and take care of the kids, her mother says, "I've spent my whole life taking care of people! I just want to take care of me. I know that there are people like Jeannette's parents who feed their children margarine sandwiches and tell them to go to the bathroom in a bucket that is dumped outside because there's no indoor plumbing and the "toilet" is already completely filled.

I know that these people exist, but I still can't believe it. A part of me was hoping that Walls pulled a James Frey and made a lot of this up, but another part of me realizes she probably didn't. Despite the knot in the pit of my stomach, I enjoyed the book. After all, only a book this engaging and well-written could spark such a vivid and real response.

View all 37 comments. Sep 17, Juliet rated it it was ok. 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! The same stories are told and re-told throughout the memoir novel , and they rely too much on symbolism for my taste. I don't know how many times The Glass Castle is mentioned, but it was clear enough the first time we're told about it.

Yes, I get it. Pretty shiny vulnerable fragile fortress - drunk father whose fantasies are selfish and unstable. Mother who's out to lunch. No money - just imaginations. Then, before we really have connected to any of the characters in their youth, we fast forward to today's NYC in which lo and behold, the storyteller is a successful writer. Basically, this book is a pale imitation of The Liar's Club. Karr's book is a jump off a cliff into a bravely realized memoir with enormous depth in the details, not to mention the writer's conflicted feelings about the meaning of father, of mother, of family, of self.

By being so specific about her life and her family's life, Karr touches us deeply about family and self, too. Walls had an interesting life, but the story reads like someone else's family's trip. So that's why I'm giving it a 2. View all 40 comments. May 01, Melki rated it really liked it Shelves: This is not a review.

The Glass Castle

There are already thousands of those. Instead, I present an anecdote. I read this in for my now-defunct neighborhood book club. I felt it was important for him to learn that not every child gets to grow up in a household that has eight different video game syste This is not a review. I felt it was important for him to learn that not every child gets to grow up in a household that has eight different video game systems. I wanted him to imagine what it would be like if his father came home one night and said "We have to move right now.

Then he shut up and started to read. He never said too much about the book, though he liked the part where the rat would come to eat out of the mother's big bowl of sugar. Huh, how 'bout that? And now, seven years later, my youngest son came home with the book he has to read for English class. Guess what it is? View all 34 comments. Jun 26, Nicole rated it it was ok Recommends it for: Why is it that I hated this book when everyone else thinks it was good?

It annoyed me on so many levels. I kept thinking to myself Sure, the writing was well done, the prose effective, the story was a bit enchanting I just could NOT understand why this book got such great reviews. In fact, the reviews is why I kept reading it. Had someone else though Why is it that I hated this book when everyone else thinks it was good? Ok, my childhood wasn't as bad as hers, I am bright, yet I hadn't the je ne se quoi to get into an Ivy league.

Perhaps, the editor deleted a HUGE chapter in her memoir which would have filled the gap between living in a weatherproof shack and going to college, but it just didn't do it for me. Okay, so most people will likely bash me for being an idiot, but I really don't care. That's all for my rant Honestly, simply a must read. Firstly, thank you to my friend Elyse for recommending this book. She knows what I like. I have just finished reading this books last pages whilst making my lasagne to feed my family, hastily stirring the white sauce and throwing in the bay leaves.

The irony isn't lost on me.. I needed to finish this story. Mental illness is all around. This family is a perfect example, and also one of resilience. Hey, these children have m Honestly, simply a must read. Hey, these children have more successful careers than I do! I always tell my kids that it takes all types to make the world go round. Jeannette Wells has crafted this memoir with passion and strength and devotion, but what blew me away most of all, there was not one shred of self pity packed into this.

I'm very interested in this amazing lady, I will find her books now and I so look forward to see how she's travelling. I could learn a thing or two, and that's what I'm always looking for. And she can write!! This was an amazing book that my favourite GR friend from the States recommended. I went to the library and got my copy. Months later I came across this book in my unorganised double layered Ikea shelf thingy book shelf, that I'd borrowed from my aunt in Queensland. It turns out all of her siblings had read it, making their own notes all over the book. This was a special book, I shouldn't have taken it with me..

But I'm so glad I got to return it.

Walk Through Walls: A Memoir by Marina Abramović

It turns out my aunt had had a similar childhood - I knew she'd struggled, but didn't realise to the extent. This book connection made me love my Aunty Donna even more. We aren't close geographically but I got to see her last month and talked about the book, and that I am grateful for.

When 'people' say they've had it hard, have they really? View all 47 comments. Jan 21, Tracy rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls Jeannette Walls proves in her astounding memoir that bad parenting and abject poverty do not necessarily condemn children to a dismal future of the same.

In "The Glass Castle" published in by Scribner, Walls reveals the intimate details of her upbringing within a dysfunctional yet loving family. Her mother is homeless — one of those bag ladies that all of us see — but now you suddenly have to wonder what it would feel like if that was your mother dangling at the fringe of our society. From this shocking moment, Walls transports you back to her earliest memory. She is three years old and suffers a terrible burn to her torso when her dress catches on fire as she is boiling hotdogs on the stove.

A long stay at the local hospital near where her family is currently living in Arizona ensues while Walls recovers. To the hospital staff, the negligence of the parents is obvious, but Jeannette does not associate the murmuring disapproval around her with her parents. If any action on the part of social services is planned, we never find out because her father, Rex Walls, plans an early check out from the hospital in his trademark "Rex Walls' style.

Jeannette is whisked away with her father, mother, older sister and younger brother and the family hits the road. It begins just one of many journeys in which the Walls family ends up in ramshackle trailers and shacks throughout the deserts of Nevada, Arizona, and California. They stay someplace a while until Rex can't pay the rent or won't and they skip town and do it all over again.

Rex inspired the title of the book with the plans, lovingly worked out on paper, for his "glass castle" that he aspires to build some day. He often reassures his children with the promise of this fanciful housing. It is to be a solar-powered house, but first he needs to raise the money to build it, which entails numerous gold prospecting schemes that are doomed to failure. Because gold-hunting never pays the bills, Rex also finds work as an electrician or handyman. He is smart and mechanically talented, but his earnings inevitably are washed away in the flash floods of drinking that perpetually leave his family destitute.

In an engulfing narrative that sweeps you deeper into an almost unimaginable existence of privation, we see how Jeannette and her siblings cope with their destructively alcoholic father and beg their mother to function and get them food. The mother, in fact, has a teaching degree, but she rarely can drag herself into employability. Although the various rural areas where they live are always desperate for a qualified teacher, the mother cannot abide work and only occasionally holds down a job — with the help of her children who get her out of bed.

The infrequent paychecks of the mother rarely go into the rumbling bellies of her children. Rex will invariably claim his wife's paycheck and set about squandering it. This desperate state goes on for years as the Walls children sleep in cardboard boxes instead of beds, endure scalding fights between their parents, and eat anything they can find. Their mother teaches them how to swallow spoiled food by holding their noses. But even amid these horrors of poverty and alcoholism, Jeannette Walls expresses the genuine love within her family.

They are loyal to each other, and Rex, in his sober moments, is wise, encouraging, and tender with his children. In her memoir, Walls brilliantly crafts her experiences so that we can see the transformation of awareness that takes place as she grows up. As a little girl, she is uncritical of her parents. She loves them and does not realize how awfully deprived her life is. But as she and her siblings mature, they definitely realize that the shortcomings of their parents are not acceptable.

The adolescent years of Jeannette are spent in West Virginia, where her father retreats to his hometown after going completely bust in Arizona. The plumbing does not work. The Walls family buries its trash and sewage in little holes it digs. They almost never have any food. Jeannette goes through high school digging leftover sandwiches out of the garbage, and Rex fills the role of town drunk. As miserable want defines their lives, Jeannette's mother does the most infuriating things. When Jeannette and her brother find a diamond ring, they immediately want to sell it for food, but their mother keeps it to "improve her self esteem.

As Jeannette Walls tells the story of her disgraceful upbringing, you will admire her perseverance and that of her siblings. The Walls children eventually take charge of their own lives and support each other into normal adult lives in a beautiful display of closeness among siblings. Every page of "The Glass Castle" will shock you with the shameless and selfish actions of parents who are unable and unwilling to even try to take care of their children or themselves. Despite her appalling parents, Walls rarely chastises them with her writing. Her love for her parents often comes through with aching dismay.

Much more happens throughout this amazing memoir than has been mentioned here. It is truly a masterpiece of storytelling and far superior than the typical bestseller. Feb 27, Scot rated it it was ok. I know many people love this book, remarking on how powerful and moving it was, but I had some deep problems with the narrator's memory process, and some issues about what lessons I was ultimately supposed to learn here. It is a riveting tale, full of unforgettable suffering, strife, and perseverance, about growing up with two bohemian-minded parents, one a raging alcoholic and the other a manic depressive.

It is the story of the dangerous synergy that combination produced, and how the narrator I know many people love this book, remarking on how powerful and moving it was, but I had some deep problems with the narrator's memory process, and some issues about what lessons I was ultimately supposed to learn here. It is the story of the dangerous synergy that combination produced, and how the narrator and her siblings endured, withstood, and well, some of them triumphed.

The film, when made, should do well at the box office. However, I am reminded of how a friend once explained Narcissism to me. These were things someone who lived the experience would have known. She certainly claims to have a vivid memory of a lot of things that happened when she was three years old, too! Although doubtful of the veracity, I was compelled by the series of diverse settings, the odd mix of characters, and the ongoing unpredictable calamities to read on and see what happens, if anything, at the end. View all 22 comments.

Jun 09, BlackOxford rated it really liked it Shelves: Her actuarial chance of surviving was close to zero in her Keystone Cops version of childhood. With two dipsy parents, one a violent drunk, the other a spaced-out avatar of Vishnu, she had experiences which the SAS would have had difficulty enduring. Severe scalding, scorpion bites, being thrown from a moving car, locked in the back of a truck for fourteen hours, incipient starvation, drowning, and mauling by a cheetah, not to menti Overly-Woke to Family Values Jeanette Walls should not be alive.

Severe scalding, scorpion bites, being thrown from a moving car, locked in the back of a truck for fourteen hours, incipient starvation, drowning, and mauling by a cheetah, not to mention numerous punctures, falls, fights, and a questionable diet - these were routine events before she turned eight years old. Medical care was for sissies according to dad. Their poverty, instability, inability to create social relationships, they claimed, were a blessing.

And boy was there a lot of that. An education in itself really. She writes with wit and humour about a deplorable life with incompetent and psychotic parents. I find this distressing. The issue is not one of an acceptably eccentric alternative life style, or of an odd upbringing being overcome, or of children loving their parents in tough circumstances. The poignancy of her portrayal of the caring dad after he almost killed her yet again, with no apparent irony much less sarcasm, is typical: And it may provide a way for her to deal with the effects of her childhood. It will certainly make a good film.

If it were an episode of SVU, Benson would have nailed them. View all 33 comments. Aug 13, Madeleine rated it liked it Shelves: It's no secret that I get to read on the job. I proofread for a financial publisher, which means that I spend my days getting lost in the lilting legalese of prospectuses, trustee meeting results, shareholder reports, highlight sheets — it's riveting stuff, trust me. But we're a small operation with only a few clients and the fiscal schedule is defined by a feast-or-famine work flow: While the numbers are still being tabulated, portfolio managers are polishing their semiannual interviews and sty It's no secret that I get to read on the job.

Long story short, I escaped the ordeal with my admittedly low expectations of humanity exceeded by miles. I called out of work for two days not because my boobs were bleeding they were or because it hurt to move my neck it did or because pulling open doors made me feel like my chest was on fire holy crap, did it ever , though my collection of minor injuries eased the terminally itchy conscience that won't even be appeased by having a valid excuse for calling out and leaving other people to pick up my slack unless I accept a load of Catholic-sized guilt in exchange lest I give myself a few justifiable recovery days without the appropriate reciprocal suffering.

My coping method of choice? Alternately napping like a champ and juggling three books, including this memoir of the girl who was born to a bitterly brilliant drunk she idolized and an indifferent, self-involved artist who she tried so hard to understand, only to become the person she was meant to be with little support from the two people who should have been there to cheer her on all the way.

But then the little-girl hero worship Jeanette felt for her tortured, misunderstood genius of her father just struck every raw nerve I have and just poked and poked until I had to physically distance myself from the book. It's distracting to be doing other things and thinking about the book you'd rather be reading. I, uh, may have transferred a lot of my own lingering anger at my emotionally damaging mother onto Mrs. Walls, which makes me question how justified my screaming dislike of her is.

The less said about Papa Walls, the better. My father might not have been a hopeless drunk but I kind of wish he had some kind of excuse for routinely breaking promises to the children who thought the sun rose and set on him. That first hard look at how helpless and broken the man behind the curtain is When Jeannette found her way to the school paper and sampled her first taste of print journalism's sweet, sweet escapist nectar Being a half-consumed whiskey bottle rolling around an otherwise empty desk away from calling herself a true-blooded journalist at such a young age would have won me over if the entire book preceding such a moment hadn't already made me want to see Jeannette find her place in the world.

Newsroom nostalgia will always be the easiest way to my too-soft heart.

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Walls describes what she sees, reporting the facts and supplying exposition as needed like any good journalist. Also like a good journalist, emotions get minimal face time here. Jeannette is the perfect narrator because it seems as though she is the most willing to accept her parents for what they are. Even though I selfishly wanted to know how her adult self dealt with the fallout of her turbulent childhood because every little adult grows up to be a big child, let's be honest , I found myself admiring how Jeannette was in no way reliant on cheap feelings to maneuver the story to its conclusion.

Jeannette and her siblings are the heroes of this story. They get themselves out of a bad situation one by one, fishing out each younger sibling as the means become available. Christ, I still have two more reviews to catch up on and a stack of pumpkin pancakes that are clearly not going to eat themselves unless they plan to fight me for the privilege. In short, this book was fucking great but it struck far too close to home in ways I may have overly personalized.

It didn't make me laugh like it did my coworker but it sure as hell did make me appreciate how Jeannette Walls turned out. I've had a lot of people recently and unknowingly demonstrate that humanity might not be as awful as I've always thought it to be, and witnessing a grown child forgive her parents for their many crimes against her certainly made for the kind of book that confirmed it's probably time to fix my perspective.

Maybe we're not as fucked of a species as I've feared all along. How difficult it must be to share such intimate details with the world and then sit back while they judge not only you based on your life, but also the people that you loved, love, despite themselves, despite the things they did or did not do. Nothing about this memoir seeks pity, or condemnation of those who raised her, or even of the way she was raised, it just is the way it was, and now her life is different. My father shared some of his stories with me about growing up poor in West Virginia, hours away from Welch, in another part of the state where there are also few economic options.

Preacher, professor, farmer, the railroad, or by the time my father was old enough to think of a future, for just a few - a pilot. I would say he never looked back once he left, but the truth is he was friends with many from that small town until the day he died. Having been there, having heard his stories, stories of his friends growing up there, it was easy for me to envision these places she lived, the people.

Jeannette Wells has walked deep into her past in this memoir, her younger years were less than wonderful and yet she survived, flourished even, maybe. Certainly there must be scars of a childhood where neglect and hunger are so prevalent, where alcohol is more important than food, where clothing and shoes and shelter take back seat to liquor and chocolate bars. Parents are supposed to be the guardians of those too young to care for themselves, but frequently the children were left to fend for themselves or care for the parents.

There are so many moments in this memoir that are horrifying, and she has both the physical and emotional scars from those years. And yet, what really shines through is the compassion and love she still feels after all was said and done. View all 38 comments. Jan 11, Marcie rated it it was amazing Recommended to Marcie by: Once I let my frustration with the parents' neglect go, I actually enjoyed this book. Because of her matter-of-fact, non-whining writing, I enjoyed reading this book the entire time and actually put off other things so I could read more. As a disclaimer to my following comments, I am in no way condoning all of their parenting style and I also acknowledge they did not provide for their children like a parent should, but I have to say that I learned quite a bit from her parents!

The positive thing Once I let my frustration with the parents' neglect go, I actually enjoyed this book. The positive things from this book stuck with me, not the negative ones, so that is what my comments will be about. The description of her growing up years gave me ideas and motivation of how to be passionate about hobbies and life in general. Her parents taught me how to make learning fun and to see the potential in people and situations i. I went away from this book with a desire to have more vigor and creativity in life and to pass that on to my children i.

I also feel that we've become too much of "helicopter" parents -- hovering over our children making sure we direct every thought and action they have. We see this as helping, but I think it is actually detrimental to their own learning and growth. We are seeing the effects of dependent, inexperienced college-aged kids this was most notable in southern CA.

I think many of life's lessons could and should be learned at home, which means a loosening of the reins so that mistakes are still made while we are around to help as parents. Granted, in the book, her parents take this self-learning to an extreme, but I still learned from it. My perception is that the US society labels you as a "bad parent" if your child is allowed to 1 fall off a slide at the playground, 2 go without their snack one day at school if they forgot it vs.

I also found it amusing that she had such hard time accepting that her mom wanted to be homeless. I can understand how she'd still be embarrased or get tired of having to explain to people, but I agreed with her mom when she said that her daughter had the problem with esteem because she still worried about what other people thought.

Anyway, it got me thinking so much about what's most important in life and how important love is I never once doubted her parents love for her and she gave the impression that she never did either that I highly recommend it! I had a couple friends that didn't like it, mostly because they couldn't get past things like her digging in trash cans at school because she was so hungry 'People like that shouldn't be allowed to have kids' they said.

But it was all the other things I learned naming a star for your birthday that makes me want to read it again. View all 9 comments. I wish I had had non stop uninterrupted hours to devour this book but I also didn't want it to end. I loved the family dynamics. What a unique bunch of people! The writing is simple and incredibly accessible so you felt really at home reading along. I actually had times where I felt envious of this nomadic carefree life that it had me rethinking my life of conventional suburban living.

Made me think what a sheltered boring? I love a book A million stars!!! I love a book that takes me out of my comfort zone and gives me a unique and different perspective on life. Although the parents are incredibly flawed many times clearly negligent, you also believed they loved each other immensely. The mum always optimistic and seeing the sunny side of life under the worst conditions was borderline psychotic not to mention criminal but still I loved all her crazy antics. The father always running away so he avoids paying bills and running from bad debts always doing the skedaddle made me laugh out loud many times.

This was sad, funny so funny!! I was amazed at the author's positive determination and resilience, she hardly ever had a bad word to say about her family other than to describe the scene.

She never allowed her situation to dampen her outlook on life if anything it made her a more compassionate human being. What an admirable lady who deserves every success in life, she really is the definition of a rags to riches story and I loved every moment of this book.

Wildlings and the Real North Beyond the Wall

One of my favourite memoirs of all time! View all 24 comments. Sep 19, Dem rated it liked it Shelves: An extraordinary account of Parental neglect to the point of where I kept asking myself I first read this book back in and didnt even write a review as I found the book depressing and relentless. While reading this book I thought about my own family get-togethers and stories that would get told from our childhood days and while I remember very little to the point where I often asked " are ye sure I belong to the same family"? As I seem to remember so little and this is where I am amazed at how much the author remembers from her childhood.

Having said that if my childhood was eventful and full of as many odd characters as Jeanettes then perhaps my memory would serve me better. And while my initial thoughts still remain I did mange to get more from the book, as this time I found the humor and the hope and while I do think perhaps many of the situations are a little embellished for the good of the story there is no doubt the Walls as kids saw some rough times and their parents really were in a league of their own when it came to parenting. How you come through a life like this and come out the otherside a well rounded and capable person really does say alot about this family.

Overall I found this an interesting read and there are funny passages and moments throughout the story which second time around seemed to come through better for me than the first and perhaps this is because second time around I knew these kids were going to make it and I could relax a little. Glad I took the time to read it again and looking forward to the discussion on this one. View all 28 comments. Nov 28, Ginger rated it really liked it Shelves: What a great, enduring story of survival!

These kids are fighters! Kudos to her for not being bitter with how she was raised. Not many people could manage this with the type of conditions that she lived in. The parents were terrible, selfish and I hate What a great, enduring story of survival! The parents were terrible, selfish and I hated them by the end of this book. Their kids were starving, freezing and living in the worst possible conditions. The father was an alcoholic and the mother was a lazy, waste of space. They both took no responsibility for holding down a job or taking care of 4 children.

This is a perfect example of the system failing and having addicts taking care of children. So with that said, it blows my mind that three of the four kids became successful and persevered. Well done Walls' kids! The writing was well done in this memoir. The book went in a well-defined pace and it was easy to read. You will not be disappointed but likely pissed off by the time you've finished the book!

View all 21 comments. May 22, J. Sutton rated it really liked it. She is not a victim in this memoir. Walls easily could have talked about any of several traumatic experiences and how she was scarred by them and perhaps is still working through issues. If she had gone that route, The Glass Castle would have been a completely different book.

Still, by the end of this memoir, the reader marvels at how Walls as well as her siblings escaped their parents while still maintaining a relationship with them. Learn more about Amazon Prime. When Samuel Heilman took a sabbatical from teaching sociology to spend time in Jerusalem, he did not know that it would become a personal pilgrimage. While studying the holy books he had previously put aside in the name of science, he breached the boundaries of time and place and discovered a spirit that linked his modern world with his ancient heritage.

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