Leslie's Review: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Scribner
Language: English
ISBN 10:
ISBN 13: 9780743247542
Cover Image from GoodReads
Source of my copy: my sister's book
Synopsis (from GoodReads)

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.
Leslie's Review:
I needed to read a non-fiction book for school and my sister had this lying around, so I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did because The Glass Castle was fascinating and touching. It got me strangely addicted with its story of Jeannette's childhood with parents that had different views of things than most people.

The part that probably fascinated me the most was the beginning. It was by how Jeannette admitted she was ashamed when she saw her mother scavenging through the Dumpster. And then meeting up with her mom, offering help, but her mom said she was fine being homeless. That part right there had me speechless yet hooked to the story until the end.

Although Jeannette had a tough past, there were some touching and caring moments in the story. My favorite was when she wrote about how the family would read together and look up words in the dictionary and discuss their meanings--that was a nice memory. I especially felt moved when, during the time they were in New York, Jeannette and her dad were talking about their life moving around. That scene just gave me that warm feeling inside. It reminded me there's always good and bad things in everyone's life.

I admire this book for teaching us to be more grateful for what we already have. And for that I give this 5 out of 5 stars.

**Disclaimer: I borrowed this book from my sister and she bought it with her own money. My review is based on my own experiences with the book and only share my honest, unbiased opinions. I am NOT promoting or discouraging anyone from purchasing and reading this book--whether I liked or disliked it. PLEASE use this blog only as a source and not the definite answer to your inquiries.**


  1. I'm not much for non fiction but 5 out of 5? Wow. Great review!

  2. Excellent review. I don't read too much non-fiction but this one sounds good. Thanks for the recommendation :)

  3. I have read this book and it is a good read... it reads like fiction! But it is factually... even harder to believe. Good review. Good Book. 5 of 5 is accurate!

    Bill ;-)

    Hope you'll check out my book giveaway:

  4. this sounds like a great book! i'll be sure to check it out. thanks for bringing it to my attention!


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