The Glass Castle

A Memoir

Walls, Jeannette

Book - 2005
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
The Glass Castle
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, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.

Publisher: New York : Scribner, c2005
ISBN: 0743247531
Branch Call Number: 362.82092 W159W 2005
Characteristics: 288 p. ; 24 cm


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Mar 27, 2015
  • d2013 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Hard not to judge this kind of upbringing, the story itself is unbelievable. Still, well written memoir.

Mar 17, 2015
  • Amanda2409A rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Read this book for English class. The cover called my attention . Even went ahead by reading all, ahead in my group. The father reminded me unfortunately of someone I once knew and rather forget. The mother disgusts me and I love the three main Children

Feb 24, 2015
  • blolo rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Super well-written, the story is so crazy it is hard to believe, and - what I really appreciated - is how she wrote with such compassion about the family who caused her so much pain. I got into it, and just wanted to be reading it all the time.

Feb 16, 2015
  • lukefortuny rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This memoir is a page turner. An amazing compilation of memories. As if you are right there with the author. It does not get dull at any point.

Feb 01, 2015
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

If you read and enjoyed Mary Karr's memoir The Liars' Club, you will love The Glass Castle. Growing up with parents who instill a wonderful sense of excitement in a young child but can only offer heartbreaking chaos as they mature, Jeannette struggles with her love, sadness, anger and final detachment from her parents.

Dec 16, 2014
  • KindianaJones rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The book was beautiful and balanced. Her upbringing wasn't simply impoverished or simply abusive; there was love and joy and poetry in her family life as well. Walls does a very good job of writing her story in a touching (not syrupy) way.

Nov 25, 2014
  • midnightreader27 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Such a good read! I recommend this book to absolutely everyone. I'm not one to ever reread a book but this I could read over and over again. Walls is an amazing story teller and her tales are incredible. Funny, adventurous, inspiring.

Nov 17, 2014
  • MADKC4Ever rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I was recommended to this book by my former English teacher, and I was so glad she told me about it, because I really did love it. I still don't know what to think about her parents, whether they were loving in their own weird and unconventional way, or truly abusive. Maybe a little bit of both. I think everybody would get something out of this book, and how truly blessed you are to live in such a great city and that you can succeed no matter what kind of life you've led in the past.

Oct 30, 2014

when is my turn will be???????????
i need it on 5th November
so please let me the due date of other users

Oct 27, 2014
  • readerpat rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

An unbelievable story. Four kids living in total poverty with two useless parents. It is hard to imagine how they made it through to adulthood,
Don't read this book if you are offended by bad language which is sprinkled all through the book.

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Nov 17, 2014
  • MADKC4Ever rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

MADKC4Ever thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Jul 17, 2014
  • ellegibson rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

ellegibson thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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

orange_squirrel_4 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jun 17, 2012

Ninja_Kevin thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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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.

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.

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.


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Nov 17, 2014
  • MADKC4Ever rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"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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