Annie Oaklee, September 1, 2009 (view all comments by Annie Oaklee)
How can this be a heartbreaking and heartwarming story at the same time? Jeanette Walls skillfully makes it so. Jeanette is a survivor and has told a true story that can, at times, be shocking but is still full of love.
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Luigi, December 22, 2008 (view all comments by Luigi)
The remarkable autobiography of a girl who grew up in extreme poverty and survived. Her alcoholic father and free spirited (if not emotionally disturbed) mother managed to neglect her and her siblings while justifying their conduct with believable words of homely wisdom. Jeannette succeeded while her mother still lives on the streets of New York. You may find yourself dumbfounded by the life of this vagabond family, but you will be glad you read this book. For more, go on www.youtube.com and search for "Glass Castle." You will find a video of the author and her mother.
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Rosalie, March 2, 2007 (view all comments by Rosalie)
Challenging circumstances were no match for this author's extraordinary courage to do much more than just survive. If memories of hardships include having to eat your vegetables, reading The Glass Castle could well change the rest of your life.
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ERoberts, January 28, 2007 (view all comments by ERoberts)
"Jeannette Walls's father always called her 'Mountain Goat' and there's perhaps no more apt nickname for a girl who navigated a sheer and towering cliff of childhood both daily and stoically. In The Glass Castle, Walls chronicles her upbringing at the hands of eccentric, nomadic parents--Rose Mary, her frustrated-artist mother, and Rex, her brilliant, alcoholic father. To call the elder Walls' childrearing style laissez faire would be putting it mildly. As Rose Mary and Rex, motivated by whims and paranoia, uprooted their kids time and again, the youngsters (Walls, her brother and two sisters) were left largely to their own devices. But while Rex and Rose Mary firmly believed children learned best from their own mistakes, they themselves never seemed to do so, repeating the same disastrous patterns that eventually landed them on the streets. Walls describes in fascinating detail what it was to be a child in this family, from the embarrassing (wearing shoes held together with safety pins; using markers to color her skin in an effort to camouflage holes in her pants) to the horrific (being told, after a creepy uncle pleasured himself in close proximity, that sexual assault is a crime of perception; and being pimped by her father at a bar). Though Walls has well earned the right to complain, at no point does she play the victim. In fact, Walls' removed, nonjudgmental stance is initially startling, since many of the circumstances she describes could be categorized as abusive (and unquestioningly neglectful). But on the contrary, Walls respects her parents' knack for making hardships feel like adventures, and her love for them--despite their overwhelming self-absorption--resonates from cover to cover." --Brangien Davis, Amazon.com
Love the book... I highly recommend it!
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Scribner Book Company -
by Kirkus Reviews,
"Walls's journalistic bare-bones style makes for a chilling, wrenching, incredible testimony of childhood neglect. A pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps, thoroughly American story."
by Dani Shapiro, author of Family History,
"Jeannette Walls has carved a story with precision and grace out of one of the most chaotic, heartbreaking childhoods ever to be set down on the page. This deeply affecting memoir is a triumph in every possible way, and it does what all good books should: it affirms our faith in the human spirit."
by Patricia Bosworth, author of Anything Your Little Heart Desires and Diane Arbus: A Biography,
"The Glass Castle is the saga of the restless, indomitable Walls family, led by a grand eccentric and his tempestuous artist wife. Jeannette Walls has survived poverty, fires, and near starvation to triumph. She has written this amazing tale with honesty and love."
by Dominick Dunne, author of The Way We Lived Then: Recollections of a Well-Known Name Dropper,
"Just read the first pages of The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, and I defy you not to go on. It's funny and sad and quirky and loving. I was incredibly touched by it."
In the tradition of Mary Karr's The Liars' Club and Rick Bragg's All Over But the Shouting, Jeannette Walls has written a stunning and life-affirming memoir about surviving a willfully impoverished, eccentric and severely misguided family.
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