The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle

A Memoir

Audiobook CD - 2010
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Journalist Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary and their four children 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 how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family. When the money ran out, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town Rex had tried to escape. As the dysfunction escalated, the children had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they found the resources and will to leave home. Yet Walls describes her parents with deep affection in this tale of unconditional love in a family that, despite its profound flaws, gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, p2010
ISBN: 9781442339705
1442339705
Characteristics: 8 sound discs (ca. 9 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in

Opinion

From Library Staff

The child of an alcoholic father and eccentric artist mother discusses her nomadic upbringing as her parents outmaneuvered bill collectors and the authorities.

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From the critics


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m
mitchelclay
May 14, 2018

Oh. My. Goodness.

I devoured this book. Jeannette Walls offers her own life story in a way that sits you right in the midst of her family. It's a beautiful and painful story of her family making it work through setback after setback. It's laid out for the reader as a gift wrapped in newspaper just like her mother used to do. Except the story that's inside is anything but ordinary. Walls' father is a genius with a tragic taste for alchol. Her mother is a suffering artist in so many ways. Her siblings are tough and absolute survivors.

If you've never read a memoir, start here. It's honestly one of the best I've ever read.

c
COURIER3
May 13, 2018

CBS featured on Sunday morning show. Dis functional family Woody Harrelson

g
garycornell
Apr 25, 2018

"The Glass Castle" grabs your attention right away. This family is simply fascinating. We see the world through the eyes of a daughter with parents that seem different from all the other children. Why and how did it happen! What can she do about it? How was her life changed by her parents? All are fascinating questions. True stories like "Glass Castle" makes me aware how unique all of us are.

coffeebookie Apr 10, 2018

Loved this book. It was compelling and fascinating even though some parts were quite surprising and disturbing. There are so many things the book conveys about hope, love, family and perseverance that it is definitely worth reading… and one you won’t easily forget!

c
cltkamari
Mar 28, 2018

I read The Glass Castle it is a memoir about Jeanette Walls. Its 288 pages of unconditional love in her family despite the flaws and struggles they have. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among desert towns to camping in the mountains. Rex was a brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them almost everything, and how to embrace life fearlessly. Mary, self-proclaimed artist who wasn’t fit to be a parent made the kids see through a lens that makes them see things as clear as possible. Later, when the excitement of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dark West Virginia mining town, and the family Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank, stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette, Brian, Lori, and Maureen had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they stood through their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the means and will to leave home.
I felt that this book is so shocking that it seems fake. Like for instance in one part of the book she talks about how she threw rocks from afar at kids on bikes, that sounds untrue like she might have exaggerated a bit but that makes the book even better. I have never read a book by her or one with a similar theme so this is kind of new to me. I would recommend this book to people just looking for an interesting story ages 12 and up because they might understand it more than little kids.

c
chrisbee55
Mar 26, 2018

I saw the movie first and I really liked it. The book was another matter. I only read half of it and put it down. The father was even more abusive an nomadic than what was portrayed in the movie. I could not read another word of it - it was not for me.

l
leveta
Mar 20, 2018

I loved The Glass Castle
Thank you for sharing your life with me.

vm510 Jan 11, 2018

Most of this book is rather shocking, but I think what really made this story shine is the narrative style Walls uses. Her voice is engaging and at times even entertaining. All of Walls' life stories and realizations are complex and she shows the reader how she could disapprove of her parents' decisions but still love them nonetheless. If you enjoy memoirs, this is one to check out.

n
Newmommy09
Nov 12, 2017

A beautifully written, exquisite memoir about the Author's life and times. I loved this book. Just whisked me away to another land, another time. The impeccable story-telling was so vivid, so compelling, joyous, heart-wrenching. It makes me thankful for what I have now, and had as a child, but that said, the authors vivaciousness and tenacity is mind-blowing.

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Oct 24, 2017

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls is probably one of my favourite books at the moment. I would say that this could be a controversial book if you were to focus on the peculiarity and uniqueness of the parents’ values; many times while reading the book I was appalled by the reactions of the parents when their children were inappropriately taken advantage of at the hands of family members and outsiders. While the parents themselves seemed a little odd with their teachings, what really fascinated me in the book was when the whole family did the “ske-daddle” more than once; they moved from one place to another, each place becoming worse than the last. Their lives were going downhill and the way Jeannette Walls described their living conditions, I often stopped the book and looked around my own home, imagining how my life would be if I was in the main character, Jeannette’s, place. This book was compelling but realistic, opening up the broad world of hardships to young adults reading this book. I recommend this book for readers ages 14 and up. I give this book a 5/5 star rating.
- @ilovefood of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

While I respect the popularity that The Glass Castle has in the community, I believe it is one of the worst books I have ever read for two reasons: the mother, and the father of the protagonist.
These two characters are some of the most dislikable morons I have seen in any media. The whole story revolves around them not liking city culture for some reason, and doing everything in their power to not admit that they’re poor, or trying to fix it. The mother does get better at some intervals, but I always think throughout the story that the father is actively trying to sabotage his own children’s futures.
I do think it has an interesting narrative, but even then, most of the problems in and of this story would be nonexistent if the parents just smartened up. And since this is a memoir, I actively feel sorry for the protagonist.
I give this story a 1 out of 5, and I do not recommend it whatsoever.
- @RhythmDragon of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

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Age

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j
jmli
May 18, 2017

jmli thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

e
ecarr1212
Aug 15, 2015

ecarr1212 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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MADKC4Ever
Nov 17, 2014

MADKC4Ever thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

ellegibson Jul 17, 2014

ellegibson thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

orange_squirrel_4 Aug 23, 2013

orange_squirrel_4 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Ninja_Kevin Jun 17, 2012

Ninja_Kevin thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Summary

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j
jmli
May 18, 2017

The story revolves mostly around the childhood of the author. It describes the nomadic lifestyle of the Walls and how the children have learned to grow without their parents' support. The Glass Castle is mainly telling the dysfunctional connections in this dysfunctional family.

b
bogwolf
Jun 19, 2015

A journalist remembers her challenging, unconventional and impoverished childhood & the family with whom she shared these challenges.

Bonavista May 06, 2011

I loved that she went through so much as a child and teenager but still held the faith the whole time and came out of it. I think, a better person for it.

carlakacz May 03, 2011

This was a very intriguing book to read, a glimpse into someones life that is almost unbelievable.

p
patl
Feb 16, 2011

Remarkable memoir of resilence and redemption and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeanette's brillant and charismatic father catured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishones and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn't want the responsibility of raising a family. The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed and protected one another and eventually found their way to New York.Their parents followed them choosing to be homeless even as their children propsered.

Notices

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a
AlignedStars
Aug 04, 2017

Coarse Language: Jeanette's father does tend to cuss frequently.

j
jmli
May 18, 2017

Sexual Content: 2 somewhat sexual scenes in regards to the protagonist.

Quotes

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j
jmli
May 18, 2017

"It's the Joshua tree's struggle that gives it its beauty." - Rose Mary Wells

m
MADKC4Ever
Nov 17, 2014

"I'm not upset because I'll miss you," Mom said. "I'm upset because you get to go to New York and I'm stuck here. It's not fair."

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