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The Glass Castle

Posted by  on Thursday, April 16th, 2009 at 9:50 pm

I just finished reading The Glass Castle, a memoir by Jeannette Walls. This book was a roller coaster of a dysfunctional family at its finest.  Her father was an alcoholic, her mother was completely unstable, and the kids were left to fend for themselves. During their childhood, the four children were moved from one podunk town to the next, spun each time by their father as “an exciting new adventure.”  Although this sounds a bit depressing, the books overall tone was surprisingly optimistic. 

Here is an excerpt from the first page of the book (this will get you hooked):

“I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a dumpster. It was just after dark. A blustery March wind whipped the steam coming out of the manholes, and people hurried along the sidewalks with their collars turned up. I was stuck in traffic two blocks from the party where I was heading. 

Mom stood fifteen feet away. She had tied rags around her shoulders to keep out the spring chill and was picking through the trash. To the people walking by, she probably looked like any of the thousands of homeless people in New York City.

It had been months since I laid eyes on Mom, and when she looked up, I was overcome with panic that she’d see me and call out my name, and that someone on the way to the same party would spot us together and Mom would introduce herself and my secret would be out.  I slid down in the seat and asked the driver to turn around and take me home to Park Avenue.”

The author, is currently a contributer to It just goes to show you that life is what you make of it. Being dealt a bad hand doesn’t attribute to your demise or success. Sometimes, you need to make your own luck—by working hard for what you want.
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One comment


So glad you read it and liked it!

I agree with you that her tone was not one of a victim, but an adventurer who shows little anger over her parent’s incredibly abusive treatment of herself and siblings.

The theme I gleaned from it was different, however: even when parents are CRAZIES, make mistakes, are the source of suffering knowingly or unknowingly, on a grand or small scale, our love for them can still transcend.

Interesting how people can read the same book but get something completely different out of it…

kinda like the Bible.

April 17th, 2009 at 11:43 pm

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