Read The Glass Castle Online by Jeannette Walls
Click Here to Download the Book 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 nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn’t stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an “excitement addict.” Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever. Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town—and the family—Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents’ betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home. What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms. For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to MSNBC.com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.
Reviews The glass Castle was an amazing memoir. I've read a lot of criticisms about this book, and I would have to disagree with all of them. This is a very believable story. For someone to say it can't be truth, they must think life is a bowl of cherries. There could be many true memoirs written like this, with even worse situations explained. This family had their own way of doing things. The parents were negligent, I agree. But, the children gained an amazing strength through this, becoming very successful in the end. The best part of all, is that the success wasn't inherited, given to them, etc. It was earned, unselfishly. The Walls children were completely educated, without an education. Sure, there were a few things they hadn't learned, but throughout their adventures, they learned more than most people will in their lifetime. Some reviews of this memoir stated that it wouldn't be possible for such small children to be able to hypothesize or break down the events that were happening in their lives at that time. I have to disagree, and say yes, this is very likely. There is nothing in life that makes a person smarter than experiencing true
life events, experiencing life. That's why this world today has went downhill in ever-leaning. Sure, we have some great inventions and gadgets these days, but it's nothing like the days of home educated, selflearning, hard working inventors that we had years ago. Those people invented gadgets so useful, that we still NEED those things to this day. This is now a selfish generation that wants, wants, wants. We invent all the cheap bling, and think we've accomplished something. Actually, we're just taking things that the socalled "undereducated" inventors created years ago, only changing them up to fit our current needs and wants. I loved this story. It was definitely the best memoir I've read. All the events that took place, were more than likely raw truth. Because of my own experiences in life, I had no problem believing it. I think the author did a great job with details and feelings throughout this memoir.
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls is one of the most well-written, interesting, candid, and disturbing books I have ever read. It's definitely a page-turner. I read it in one sitting, unable to NOT know what happened next in the lives of Ms. Walls family. She captures with uncanny talent the personalities of each of her family members and even the West Virginia town into which the children find themselves settled. The awful truths she and her siblings dscover and live through are almost mind-numbing to the reader, much more so when you realize they actually lived through them! One of the more interesting parts of the book for me is how she nailed in so vivid a way the mindset, the character of the small West Virginia town in which her father was raised and into which her parents move them. She captures the pride, the privacy, and the perpetual attitude of "minding-your-own-business at any cost" of the residents. That these children not only survived their childhood, but also that 3 of them became extremely successful in business, is a testament to their strength of character. I was left shaking my head that they were never removed from their parents' custody and that they realize early on the "foibles" of their parents are flaws that put them in danger, neglect, and abuse; they are on their own against their parents' complete lack of awareness, and what I suspect as mental illnesses, to provide for themselves basic necessities of living. I have a friend who says every whiny teenager should have to read this book. I agree. What the author and her siblings lived through stands in stark contrast to how their lives turned out. Or maybe it was precisely because they learned survival skills at such early ages and matured at ages much younger than what society deems appropriate and acceptable, that they overcame their childhood. This book will stay with me for a lifetime.
From the time I started reading this book, I found it difficult to put down. From the first page, I was pulled into the story of the author's life with a dysfunctional, nomadic family. There are parts of the book I find almost shocking. I say "almost", because this is America and people can choose to live the life they want for the most part. Jeannette's parents made the choice to not accept welfare, to not work when they chose, and to move from place to place to avoid whatever trouble they had encountered. The fact that I or most people would not choose that life does not make it wrong, per se. I am surprised that anyone would wish to live without indoor plumbing or heat, or with a roof that leaks into the children's bedroom. The fact that Jeannette and her siblings grew up in these surroundings and resolved to change their own lives as adults is what makes this memoir shine. Hard times are a part of the landscape of life for so many. It's what you learn from the hard times that can make all the difference. Kudos to Ms. Walls and her siblings for understanding that hardship doesn't have to make one a victim.
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