Jeannette Walls's father always called her "Mountain Goat," and there's perhaps no more apt a 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:... read more
People are apt to generalize why people live the way they do, especially when it is below the acceptable level deemed civilized. Jeannette Walls draws a picture of the way she grew up with her siblings in constantly changing locations that ranged from living in cars to a shack considered low... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
People are apt to generalize why people live the way they do, especially when it is below the acceptable level deemed civilized. Jeannette Walls draws a picture of the way she grew up with her siblings in constantly changing locations that ranged from living in cars to a shack considered low life and dilapidated, even in the hills of W. Virginia. The children had little to no food much of the time learning to fend for themselves. Their parents were hooked on adventure and put them on "the skedaddle" when they couldn't/wouldn't pay their bills, were wanted by the police or possibly child welfare. The parents possessed intelligent minds attempting to raise their children with values. Unfortunately, their views of the world may have started well but then became skewed. Mom would relinquish the well being of the children for the needs of the alcoholic father. Was the mother mentally ill? Would the children have been better off in the foster care system? Or is this a look as to why the court system attempts to keep families together? Even when it is hard to understand why!
The children in this book learned to survive in an environment that was, in no way conducive to life. The things these kids went through are horrible and unthinkable. It makes my heart bleed to know that there are children out there who may be living this same sort of life.
“"No one expected you to amount to much."”Jeanette's mom
“"And it's a little on the rustic side." "How rustic?" Lori asked. Mom paused. I could see her debating how to phrase her answer. "It doesn't have indoor plumbing."”
“"Things usually work out in the end." "What if they don't?" "That just means you haven't come to the end yet."”Mom
“"One thing about whoring, it puts a chicken on the table!"”Jeanette Walls
“"we did the Skeddadle again"”Jeanette Walls
“"Mom told us we would have to go shoplifting."Isn't that a sin?" I asked Mom."Not exactly," Mom said. "God doesn't mind you bending the rules a little if you have a good reason. It's sort of like justifiable homicide. This is justifiable pilfering.""”
“The next day she had blisters the length of her thighs. "Just remember," Mom said after examining the blisters. "what doesn't kill you will make you stronger.""If that was true, I'd be Hercules by now," Lori said.”
“We laughed about all the kids who believed in the Santa myth and got nothing for Christmas but a bunch of cheap plastic toys. "Years from now, when all the junk they got is broken and long forgotten," Dad said, "you'll still have your stars."”
“We quickly learned that whenever we ventured into the kitchen, we needed to wrap our hands in the driest socks or rags we could find. If we got a shock, we'd announce it to everyone else, sort of like giving a weather report. "Big jolt from touching the stove today," we'd say, "Wear extra rags."”
“"Just then we took a sharp turn over some railroad tracks, the door flew open, and I tumbled out of the car...I waited for what seemed like a long time before I decided it was possible Mom and Dad might not come back for me. They might not notice I was missing. They might decide that it wasn't worth the drive back to retrieve me."”Jeannette Walls
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