“The Glass Castle is a true story. It is the memoir of Jeannette Walls growing up with her two sisters and brother, moving all over the country with their parents, from the Southwestern desert to the West Virginian mountains, all the while living in extreme poverty. Her parents had ideals, great stubborn ideals, and they charged fearlessly through life teaching their kids about science and art and expanding their imagination and living boldly. It was all great when they were able to hold down jobs and when Rex, the father, was sober. But those times never lasted long. The wandered the Southwest like nomads never really having a true home. Rex and Rosemary Walls were strict nonconformists and at times it could feel like a curse and a blessing to Jeannette. But when money truly ran out, there were no other options but to settle in West Virginia with Rex’s parents. There they lived in freezing cold winters in the mountains in a tiny house sometimes barely having any heat at all to see them through the night. The parents feeling defeated, it was up to the Walls kids to make it on their own.
This was a very moving yet difficult story to read. I felt for these children and got very very angry at times. It would have been one thing if this was a work of fiction, but it was true. It really happened. The mother called herself an “excitement junkie” and that was why she stayed with their father, because she never knew what would happen next. But when your husband is a drunk who cannot provide for your family and is making it so your kids starve and don’t even have heat...it’s time to leave him. Both the parents had me furious. You have to take responsibility when you have children. But instead, it was the children taking the responsibility. I felt so sad.
However, it was a wonderfully written memoir and the stories told were very interesting, so I am glad I read it. I like a book that can move me to tears. Also, it wasn’t all upsetting. There were parts that were humorous and thoughtful. I’ve heard good things about her second book as well so I’ve put it on my list. But this I think was a solid 4 stars.