The Glass Castle: A Memoir

by Jeannette Walls | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 074324754x Global Overview for this book
Registered by noumena12 of Dayton, Ohio USA on 1/28/2007
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by noumena12 from Dayton, Ohio USA on Sunday, January 28, 2007
Awards
2005 Quill Award Nominees - Biography/Memoir
2006 Alex Awards
2006 Christopher Award for Adult Books
March -> 2005 Barnes & Noble Club Recommendations
New York Times Notable Nonfiction of 2005

From the Publisher
Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town — and the family — Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

Journal Entry 2 by LynnWrites from Tucson, Arizona USA on Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Very, very generous RABCK from my wish list from Noumena12. I am so pleased to have received this book; Noumena12 brought it will her and gave it to me at the 2007 BookCrossing convention in Charleston, SC.
Thanks again, so much. Just wish there had been more time to really chat with everyone.

picture taken at Friday mornings registration

Journal Entry 3 by LynnWrites from Tucson, Arizona USA on Thursday, July 12, 2007
I almost gave up on this book on page 184 when, after a disturbing incident with her Uncle, a teenaged Jennette Walls goes to her mother for protection and advice and was brushed off; her mother's comment was that “sexual assault is a crime of perception. ... too many women make too big of a fuss over it". Then she turned back to her crossword puzzle. That was about it for me. But, I persevered because the book is well-written.

Just as the greatness of a nation can be judged by the way it treats its animals (Ghandi), so it goes for people. The Dad who callously tosses a family pet cat out of a car window, at the start of a family move, or who drowns sackfulls of kittens, after accumulating strays and then allowing them to breed, is most likely not ever going to end up voted in as parent of the year – at least not in my book. Loser does not even begin to describe the head of this family, Rex Walls; and self-involved is far too tame a term to be applied to the mother who was totally wrapped up in her own world. Both parents were self-destructive, delusional individuals, who totally deserved each other. Sadly, none of their four living children deserved to have either one of them as parents. The only thing of value Jeannette Walls got from either of her parents was her storytelling ability. Her mother, although creative, was a bit of a liar and her father, who might have been able to spin a good yarn, was basically just a bull-shitting, alcoholic con man who couldn’t hold down a job. Their daughter, however, is a true storyteller.

Did not enjoy this book. Yes, it is very well-written. Yes, as described on the back cover it is “ a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption…” However, I am sick to death of reading about dysfunctional families and self-absorbed, abusive, neglectiful, slipshod, excuses for parents – I have no time for them. I don’t find them fascinating; they have no redeeming qualities. These adults chose the life they lived, the children didn’t. I have no patience for adults who drag their children into a life of chaos, especially when it was by choice. These people inherited a lovely house; they both had the skills to keep a steady paycheck coming in and food on the table, and they could have given their children a clean home, clean clothes, and working toilets. They chose not to.

In the beginning of the book, I was shocked and horrified when the well-to-do young woman (Jeannette) catches sight of her homeless mother rooting through a dumpster. By the time I was halfway through the book, I felt it was a fitting turn of events. In fact, the mother should have been stuffed into dumspter ! Some people are just trash.

This book will be on its way to CT, to lizabeth86, by tomorrow.

Journal Entry 4 by Lizabeth86 from Middletown, Connecticut USA on Saturday, July 14, 2007
This was sent to me as a RABCK from Hotflash as it was on my wishlist. Ever since this book came out I have been on the fence on whether to read it but finally decided to add it to my wishlist. I had pre-read an excerpt from amazon and thought the writing was at least good. I'll give my opinion on the rest after I read it.

Journal Entry 5 by Lizabeth86 from Middletown, Connecticut USA on Saturday, March 29, 2008
This book reads like fiction and I had to keep reminding myself that it was in fact a memoir (which than at times horrified me). There is no doubt that Jeannette Walls is a very gifted storyteller.

To say that she had "dysfunctional" parents does not even begin to describe Rex and Rose Mary Walls. I would guess that both parents had some level of mental illness. Given who their parents were and their childhood I am amazed at how all the children turned out (although the youngest daughter seems a bit unclear).

Non-fiction is a new genre for me so unlike Hotflash I haven't read alot of books of this nature to be overwhelmingly sick of the subject matter.

I am really glad HotFlash gave me the opportunity to read this and without hesitiation would rate this 10 stars.

Journal Entry 6 by Lizabeth86 at Middletown, Connecticut USA on Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Mailed to a member at swap.com as part of a trade.

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