Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls

This is an incredible read. From the first sentences the reader is filled with emotion.
Imagine looking out of a taxi window and seeing your mother , your homeless mother, digging through garbage while dressed in rags.

This is a story of a unique family. No, it is the story of a very strange family. A family who for many years lived in hovels and allowed the children to go without food, decent shelter and warm clothing. It tells of the indomitable spirit of these children, and the ways each of them found to survive.

The more I read, the more anger I felt. The most dreadful situations were made light of. The children were neither taught boundaries nor given guidance or support. Somehow they managed to grow and learn and thrive.

Just when you begin to feel as if this family has finally made it, managed to climb their way out and make their way, there is another surprise in store. Was it all necessary? All the hungry nights spent sleeping in boxes, trying to stay warm. Did it have to happen? The answer is found at the end of the story, which is really the beginning in so many ways for this family.

I went from despising the author for leaving her mother to dig through the trash, to understanding her, to admiring her with all of my heart. I suspect that you will too.

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