The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle, a memoir by Jeannette Walls, lends itself to compulsive reading—I didn’t want to put it down. Each interruption became a terribly disastrous nuisance that got in my way, and I waited eagerly to get back to reading. When at all possible, I would sneak in a few quick pages here and there between the various distractions and responsibilities of my life. The author’s prose is interesting and straightforward as she relates her childhood plagued by poverty, hunger, and the eccentric whims of her parents. Walls captures the wide-eyed innocence of her younger self even as she describes behavior by her parents that made me shake my head in exasperated disbelief that they could ever act in such a cavalier manner. Yet, as much as I wanted to villainize her parents, she manages to paint a fractured portrait of family that doesn’t sit in judgment and is at times funny, shocking, disturbing, sad, enraging, hopeful.

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