The Glass Castle

A Memoir
Walls, Jeannette (Book - 2005 )
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
The Glass Castle

Item Details

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.For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to MSNBC.com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.
Authors: Walls, Jeannette
Title: The glass castle
a memoir
Publisher: New York :, Scribner,, c2005
Characteristics: 288 p. ;,24 cm
ISBN: 0743247531
Branch Call Number: 362.82092 W159W 2005
Statement of Responsibility: Jeannette Walls
Subject Headings: Dysfunctional families West Virginia Welch Case studies Homeless persons New York (State) New York Family relationships Walls, Jeannette Poor West Virginia Welch Biography Children of alcoholics United States Biography Dysfunctional families United States Case studies Children of alcoholics West Virginia Welch Biography
Topical Term: Dysfunctional families
Homeless persons
Children of alcoholics
Dysfunctional families
Children of alcoholics
LCCN: 2004058907
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Report This Feb 18, 2014
  • Kabej48 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Great Book. Her book Half Broke Horses first. When I re-read them both, I may do that.

Report This Jan 04, 2014
  • emmadragons rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Honestly this is the most shocking book i have ever read . It continuously takes your breath away.

Report This Nov 03, 2013
  • kwsmith rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Jeannette Walls' well written memoir describes her turbulent childhood growing up with an alcoholic father and a seemingly mentally ill mother. Although at times tragic, this story shows how children with determination can overcome all manner of problems, including their own parents. Still, at the end of the narrative, it is clear that all four siblings were damaged in different ways.

Report This Oct 29, 2013
  • naguiar rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Beautifully written...it makes one think about life, society, and what is worthy of hate or love.

Report This Sep 26, 2013
  • BobScott36 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This is a terrific story of children surviving benign neglect & eccentricity as well of a habitual drunk as a father. However they were reared with love and respect for others and an unusual education. It was hard for me to read at times because of the tragic circumstances, but their human spirit not only survived but thrived. Anyone interested in children should read this book.

Report This Aug 29, 2013
  • lizardi rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

One of the best memoirs I've ever read. Her writing is so compelling that it makes it difficult to put down and attend to other things! It's amazing that she has thrived despite her tumultious (sp?)childhood.

Report This Aug 27, 2013
  • ucblue rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I had to read this memoir for my AP English class, and I have to say, that this book was one of the best I have read. I cannot imagine her situation and I marvel at how she does not say her parents were terrible. Yes the uncle and grandma were creepy and so was the boy who tried to rape her, and those parts made me really question her mother and made me see how her father grew up. I think the mother was a terrible mother but that the father was not all bad...plus I kinda want a star - or planet - for Christmas... Definatly read this memoir. It will make you see how good your parents are compared to how you could have it.

Report This Aug 27, 2013
  • harrybrowne rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

Utterly awful. Parents are sick and disturbed. We need to read about her horrendous childhood? What is new here?...nothing. Told in a bland narrative as if all that takes place is normal. Dreadful waste of time.

Report This Aug 20, 2013
  • justslide rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

An amazingly written memoir that will truly shock you! I could not put this book down for the life of me. Wells takes you on a journey through her childhood that will have you laughing as easily as it will leave you crying. This book is full of love and hardship.

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Report This Aug 23, 2013
  • orange_squirrel_4 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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Report This May 06, 2011
  • Bonavista rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

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.

Report This May 03, 2011
  • carlakacz rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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

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.


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