Book Reviews

Book review: The Glass Castle.

The Glass Castle is a fascinating book that will keep you up to the wee hours often morning, turning page after page.

It is a memoir of a talented and imaginative writer who grows up in a dysfunctional family with two sisters and one brother. She is an extremely observant and born storyteller.

The father was an “intelligent” entrepreneur, talented designer of machines and homes, but an incorrigible Alcoholic who would go on for a few days or weeks trying to wean himself from the “devil” alcohol, but failed, thus falling back into his old drinking habits. Needless to say the family never had enough money to buy food or any furniture to make their home more comfortable.

Rex was a loving father when sober, but these were short periods.

Her mother was certainly a free spirit, more interested in her painting and art rather than raising a family and domesticity.

Jeannette Walls tells the story of her life and her family in “periods”, describing “events” that took place while the family was moving around in a vain attempt to set up roots, finally arriving in a small Appalachian community in Virginia where her father grew up.

This book captivates the reader, and shows how in a rich county like the U.S.A, poor families fare, and how some of their offspring’s have to fend for themselves. Some of the pictures the author paints are heart wrenching, and at times painful to read, but enlightening nevertheless.

Her memory is either spectacularly sharp, or she kept a detailed dairy, or made up some of the episodes, regardless, everything fits together and flows beautifully.

Jeannette Walls has the ability to describe each memory more compelling than the last.

An excellent book to read, cherish, and re-read once in a while.

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