Skip Nav

Jeannette Walls on writing "The Glass Castle"

Point of View

❶It is here that Walls "makes it," graduating from college, gaining employment as a writer, marrying a rich husband, and settling into a Park Avenue apartment. Or at least before they make me read it.

Writer's Digest Magazine

Navigate Guide
See a Problem?
Downloading prezi...

I liked it too! I'm not saying this was the best book in the entire world - but it was great ,- but I'm saying 'something' happened to me. I have been reading book-after-book -after -book never NOT reading a book --since !!!

Looking back, I'm 'thankful' the following few books were all good experiences. Had they been awful books I might not have kept reading. Having several good books under my belt, if I hit a book I didn't like later on, --I didn't worry any longer.

I knew reading was enjoyable. I felt comfort in ways I couldn't explain. I wanted to call my long time friend 'reader' friends from Jr. High School Lisi, Renee, Ron friends who were always reading --and say I wasn't reading to please anyone!!!!

I'm still clear I have holes in my education. Nobody can take away something you really enjoy! I may not be the smartest cookie in the room but I'm honored to 'be-in-the-room'!!!

Oh my gosh --you guys have such great 'childhood' reading memories. I melt hearing them. If I left this site tomorrow I'd still have reading -- I'd still have friends to chat about with about books. Its real now -- -- I read! Any 3 year old who tries to cook her own hot dog on the kitchen stove alone my god -bless the little girl Jeannette was --has me melting in the palm of her hands.

Thanks --its never too late to become a reader! I read this book sittng under a tree at Harbin Hot Springs one summer -- Jeannette Walls became my hero! Nov 15, Angela Cross rated it it was amazing Shelves: I guess I have a somewhat different frame of reference than several of the reviewers here. I can relate to many of the lessons she learned, and as such, I never had an issue believing her.

These things can and do happen. The system fails children, and addicts whether they're addicted to alcohol or excitement will seek their fix above all else. As long as the addiction is in the picture, the person just doesn't exist. Children in alcoholic families eventually become aware of this, and the soone I guess I have a somewhat different frame of reference than several of the reviewers here.

Children in alcoholic families eventually become aware of this, and the sooner they "get it" the better for them. In the book, this is nowhere more clearly evidenced than in the case of Walls' youngest sister, who spent the least amount of time in the presence of her parents dysfunction, and yet was finally the most crippled of all the children.

Of course, I admit, I have a firmly-seated belief that the strongest and most creative of personalities are forged in fire; Maureen just didn't get burned enough to see the necessity of making a different life for herself. That, and she was separated from her other siblings by so many years that they took care of her more than they tried to include her in their effort to survive. I loved this book.

Walls' short but revealing scenes were detail and character-driven, and there were several times I caught myself chuckling at some absolute absurdity or marveling at an unexpected bit of wisdom from someone who should have been a totally unreliable source. And I guess that's one of the main things I came away with after reading this book. Wisdom can come from anyone And the trick to surviving is to take those things that make us better and stronger with us, and to leave the rest behind. View all 10 comments.

Who here has seen the show Shameless? I am thinking of the American version, but I know there is a British one, too, that it is based on. To me, that show could have been inspired by this memoir.

Frank Gallagher and Rex Walls are the same guy! I enjoyed all the vignettes from Jeannette Walls' life. She did a great job throwing them all together to create a story even without a specific plot. I am not sure that any of the stories lasted more than a few pages, but each one of them was interesting Who here has seen the show Shameless?

I am not sure that any of the stories lasted more than a few pages, but each one of them was interesting and important in its own way. I listened to the book and it was great because it was was read by the author. I think that this is how all audio memoirs should be. Also, I thought it was interesting that although some of the stories made me want to reach through the speaker and shake her parents, she told the story without any positive or negative inflection.

It was like she was saying, "here is my story, you decide how you want to be affected by it. Some might be frustrated. Others might be brought to tears. But, in the end, I think there is a little something for everyone here.

View all 48 comments. May 28, Lola rated it it was amazing Shelves: This story is proof that there are books out there that can change the way you look at the world Just waiting for you to give them a chance. Don't let them wait too long. You need them in your life. View all 17 comments. Walls begins the book by explaining what has prompted her to write about her family: La "The Glass Castle" is a memoir written by gossip columnist Jeanette Walls, which details her unconventional childhood growing up with an alcoholic father and a mother who seems to be mentally ill.

Later, Walls confronts her mother, asking what she is supposed to tell people about her parents, and her mother replies, "Just tell the truth. The first third of the memoir deals with her young childhood on the west coast, as her parents live as nomads, moving frequently between desert towns, always seeking the next adventure.

Walls' mother is the key figure we meet here: In a key passage, Walls' mother takes the kids with her to give them art lessons, as she paints and studies the Joshua tree. Walls tells her mother of her plan to dig up the tree, replant it, and protect it so it can go straight. Walls' mother admonishes her, "You'd be destroying what makes it special.

It's the Joshua tree's struggle that gives its beauty. The family's time in West Virginia makes up the next third of the story and depicts a depressed life in a depressed town.

It is in West Virginia where the family seems to drift apart, particularly Walls' father, who up to this point, had been worshipped and revered by his daughter. Like Walls' mom, her dad has a lot of imagination; while he takes odd jobs that never last long, his real dream is to strike it rich with one of his inventions. He promises, once he has found his gold, that he is going to build a "glass castle" — his most special project — a great big house for the family to live in.

Once in West Virginia, Walls and her brother figure they will make the best of the situation, and they spend a month digging a hole in the ground to serve as the foundation for the glass castle. But because the family can't pay for trash collection, their father instructs them instead to use the hole for the family's garbage.

Although she has always been her father's defender, Walls grows disillusioned with her father, eventually telling him he will never build the glass castle. Determined not to end up like her parents, Walls moves to New York, where the last third of the book transpires. It is here that Walls "makes it," graduating from college, gaining employment as a writer, marrying a rich husband, and settling into a Park Avenue apartment.

Interestingly, while Walls has rejected her parents' lifestyle, it is now their turn to reject hers. Her father refuses to visit the Park Avenue apartment, while her mother, after visiting the apartment, asks Walls, "Where are the values I raised you with?

By crafting the memoir around stories of her childhood, we as readers are often troubled, not just because of the content of the stories but because the stories don't provide much in the way of reflection or introspection.

It is, in fact, unclear what Walls actually does value — will she continue to identify success with the material trappings of her "normal" life in New York, or will she ultimately reject the conventional life, as her parents did? Without more reflection from Walls, particularly in this concluding section of the book, readers are left to their own interpretation of "the truth" about her parents — are they just a drunk father and a lazy mother, or is there something more to it? The "Glass Castle" is an addicting page-turner that should captivate any reader.

I chose to discount some of her parents' flaws and instead read this book as an homage to her parents. To me, the key passage in the book is when Walls visits a classmate's home in West Virginia and sees the empty walls in the house in stark contrast to her own home, which is cluttered with paintings and books and decorations and rejects the notion that her classmate's father, passed out on the couch, bares any resemblance to her own father.

After Walls recounts the story to her family, her mother replies that she should show compassion for her classmate because not everybody has "all the advantages you kids do. Walls' family may not provide her with much in the way of tangible goods, but they give her things that are more lasting — a belief in herself, a passion for reading and writing, an appreciation for things a lot of us take for granted, and most of all love.

In the end, it was not important whether her parents actually built her a glass castle. It was that they gave her the idea of a glass castle. By overcoming her shame for her parents and writing this memoir, Walls seems to recognize this truth about her parents — that, like the Joshua tree, there was beauty in their struggle.

View all 16 comments. Mar 16, Raeleen Lemay rated it it was amazing Shelves: Difficult to read at times, but a marvellous book. View all 3 comments.

Jul 13, Fabian rated it really liked it. The warning is this: If you are going to become parents you must simply forego being bohemian.

Peculiar upbringings are what memoirs are made of! When memoirs are like this, invigoratingly Roald Dahlesque in painting pictures The warning is this: When memoirs are like this, invigoratingly Roald Dahlesque in painting pictures of past predicaments No matter how bad you have it, someone somewhere sometime probably had it worse. The Walls children 3 of the 4, at least become inspired by their nomadic parents, wanting to be so unlike their progenitors that they actually turn their lives around.

That she appreciates it and maintains a smile is the very heart of this nonfic gem. PS--Can't wait to see the movie. View all 8 comments. Oct 13, Annalisa rated it it was amazing Recommended to Annalisa by: What I loved about this book is this: If she had been bitter in her description it would not have been believable, but instead it was tinged with forgiveness making me respect her for not only surviving such a strange childhood to become a successful, even functioning, adult but for being able to What I loved about this book is this: If she had been bitter in her description it would not have been believable, but instead it was tinged with forgiveness making me respect her for not only surviving such a strange childhood to become a successful, even functioning, adult but for being able to view her past with impartiality.

What was thought-provoking for me was the idea that if you think you're a victim you are and if you don't you're not. As appalling as her mother's reaction was to her troubles, it's true. We do overprotect our children at the price of their own growth sometimes. And in this society we are on the jumpy side when it comes to misconduct, but telling someone they have been victimized isn't always best for them.

We've gone so much to the other extreme that it was good to reconsider a sway more toward center. There has to be a medium where we aren't making children grow up as toddlers but also not sheltering them from making their own decisions until their adults. There are also a lot of class "poor" mentalities in the book.

The way the family never planned for the future as in aimed to use any gift or income to exponentially improve their lives, but horded means until they ran out. They tore down what they had until it ran out.

They lived day to day. They took advantage when they could. The old adage that you give a man a fish he'll eat for a day but teach him to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime is moot. They were not concerned with bettering their station in life only getting all they could out of it today. I found it strange that both parents were so highly intelligent and capable and yet they chose to be homeless. It bothered me that they thought the best existence would be to throw their burdens on society and let it care for them without realizing, or caring, that someone was paying and working for their existence.

It bothered me that they didn't think of their children's welfare above their own but used them like they would any other member of society. At times I found my blood boiling at the actions of her parents. That's what dysfunction will do to you. And yet, she presents the incidents without anger or hurt. It shaped her glasses of the world. But the past isn't a happy place to live. She took what good she could from her experience or bad to learn from and moved determinedly from a childhood she didn't enjoy into an adulthood she could pick.

And that's what a memoir should do: View all 5 comments. May 23, Kate rated it really liked it Shelves: This book really made me angry--why can people who have absolutely no business having kids be able to have four?

In the beginning, the Walls family is always on the run. The father is an alcoholic, who is intelligent, but believes everything upon everything is a conspiracy. He can't get a job because of the mafia, the government, the gestapo The mother has a teaching degree, but chooses to be an artist. The family is barely able to scrape by; the father spends any money they This book really made me angry--why can people who have absolutely no business having kids be able to have four?

The family is barely able to scrape by; the father spends any money they have on alcohol, the kids barely eat, and all this time, the mother sits around, doing nothing but reading. In fact, at one point, the 12 year old narrator Jeannette tells her mother that she needs to get a job, and her mother says that it's "not fair" that she has to work.

Later, when Jeannette suggests that her mother get a job and home with a wealthy family and take care of the kids, her mother says, "I've spent my whole life taking care of people! I just want to take care of me. I know that there are people like Jeannette's parents who feed their children margarine sandwiches and tell them to go to the bathroom in a bucket that is dumped outside because there's no indoor plumbing and the "toilet" is already completely filled.

I know that these people exist, but I still can't believe it. A part of me was hoping that Walls pulled a James Frey and made a lot of this up, but another part of me realizes she probably didn't. Despite the knot in the pit of my stomach, I enjoyed the book.

After all, only a book this engaging and well-written could spark such a vivid and real response. View all 37 comments. Sep 17, Juliet rated it it was ok. It's not that I hated The Glass Castle, it's just that it irritated me with its self-conscious narrative style.

Too much "look at how horrible things were! The same stories are told and re-told throughout the memoir novel , and they rely too much on symbolism for my taste. I don't know how many times The Glass Castle is mentioned, but it was clear enough the first time we're told about it. Yes, I get it. Pretty shiny vulnerable fragile fortress - drunk father whose fantasies are selfish and unstable.

Mother who's out to lunch. No money - just imaginations. Then, before we really have connected to any of the characters in their youth, we fast forward to today's NYC in which lo and behold, the storyteller is a successful writer. Basically, this book is a pale imitation of The Liar's Club. Karr's book is a jump off a cliff into a bravely realized memoir with enormous depth in the details, not to mention the writer's conflicted feelings about the meaning of father, of mother, of family, of self.

By being so specific about her life and her family's life, Karr touches us deeply about family and self, too. Walls had an interesting life, but the story reads like someone else's family's trip. So that's why I'm giving it a 2.

View all 40 comments. May 01, Melki rated it really liked it Shelves: This is not a review. There are already thousands of those. Instead, I present an anecdote. I read this in for my now-defunct neighborhood book club. I felt it was important for him to learn that not every child gets to grow up in a household that has eight different video game syste This is not a review. I felt it was important for him to learn that not every child gets to grow up in a household that has eight different video game systems.

I wanted him to imagine what it would be like if his father came home one night and said "We have to move right now. Then he shut up and started to read. He never said too much about the book, though he liked the part where the rat would come to eat out of the mother's big bowl of sugar. Huh, how 'bout that? And now, seven years later, my youngest son came home with the book he has to read for English class.

Guess what it is? View all 34 comments. Jun 26, Nicole rated it it was ok Recommends it for: Why is it that I hated this book when everyone else thinks it was good? It annoyed me on so many levels. I kept thinking to myself Sure, the writing was well done, the prose effective, the story was a bit enchanting I just could NOT understand why this book got such great reviews. In fact, the reviews is why I kept reading it. Had someone else though Why is it that I hated this book when everyone else thinks it was good?

Ok, my childhood wasn't as bad as hers, I am bright, yet I hadn't the je ne se quoi to get into an Ivy league. Perhaps, the editor deleted a HUGE chapter in her memoir which would have filled the gap between living in a weatherproof shack and going to college, but it just didn't do it for me.

Okay, so most people will likely bash me for being an idiot, but I really don't care. That's all for my rant Honestly, simply a must read. Firstly, thank you to my friend Elyse for recommending this book. She knows what I like. I have just finished reading this books last pages whilst making my lasagne to feed my family, hastily stirring the white sauce and throwing in the bay leaves.

The irony isn't lost on me.. I needed to finish this story. Mental illness is all around. This family is a perfect example, and also one of resilience. Hey, these children have m Honestly, simply a must read. Hey, these children have more successful careers than I do! I always tell my kids that it takes all types to make the world go round.

Jeannette Wells has crafted this memoir with passion and strength and devotion, but what blew me away most of all, there was not one shred of self pity packed into this. I'm very interested in this amazing lady, I will find her books now and I so look forward to see how she's travelling. I could learn a thing or two, and that's what I'm always looking for. And she can write!! This was an amazing book that my favourite GR friend from the States recommended.

I went to the library and got my copy. Months later I came across this book in my unorganised double layered Ikea shelf thingy book shelf, that I'd borrowed from my aunt in Queensland. It turns out all of her siblings had read it, making their own notes all over the book. This was a special book, I shouldn't have taken it with me.. But I'm so glad I got to return it. It turns out my aunt had had a similar childhood - I knew she'd struggled, but didn't realise to the extent. This book connection made me love my Aunty Donna even more.

We aren't close geographically but I got to see her last month and talked about the book, and that I am grateful for. When 'people' say they've had it hard, have they really? View all 47 comments. Jan 21, Tracy rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls Jeannette Walls proves in her astounding memoir that bad parenting and abject poverty do not necessarily condemn children to a dismal future of the same.

In "The Glass Castle" published in by Scribner, Walls reveals the intimate details of her upbringing within a dysfunctional yet loving family. Her mother is homeless — one of those bag ladies that all of us see — but now you suddenly have to wonder what it would feel like if that was your mother dangling at the fringe of our society.

From this shocking moment, Walls transports you back to her earliest memory. She is three years old and suffers a terrible burn to her torso when her dress catches on fire as she is boiling hotdogs on the stove. A long stay at the local hospital near where her family is currently living in Arizona ensues while Walls recovers. To the hospital staff, the negligence of the parents is obvious, but Jeannette does not associate the murmuring disapproval around her with her parents.

If any action on the part of social services is planned, we never find out because her father, Rex Walls, plans an early check out from the hospital in his trademark "Rex Walls' style. Jeannette is whisked away with her father, mother, older sister and younger brother and the family hits the road.

It begins just one of many journeys in which the Walls family ends up in ramshackle trailers and shacks throughout the deserts of Nevada, Arizona, and California. They stay someplace a while until Rex can't pay the rent or won't and they skip town and do it all over again.

Rex inspired the title of the book with the plans, lovingly worked out on paper, for his "glass castle" that he aspires to build some day. He often reassures his children with the promise of this fanciful housing. It is to be a solar-powered house, but first he needs to raise the money to build it, which entails numerous gold prospecting schemes that are doomed to failure.

Because gold-hunting never pays the bills, Rex also finds work as an electrician or handyman. He is smart and mechanically talented, but his earnings inevitably are washed away in the flash floods of drinking that perpetually leave his family destitute. In an engulfing narrative that sweeps you deeper into an almost unimaginable existence of privation, we see how Jeannette and her siblings cope with their destructively alcoholic father and beg their mother to function and get them food.

The mother, in fact, has a teaching degree, but she rarely can drag herself into employability. Although the various rural areas where they live are always desperate for a qualified teacher, the mother cannot abide work and only occasionally holds down a job — with the help of her children who get her out of bed.

The infrequent paychecks of the mother rarely go into the rumbling bellies of her children. Rex will invariably claim his wife's paycheck and set about squandering it. This desperate state goes on for years as the Walls children sleep in cardboard boxes instead of beds, endure scalding fights between their parents, and eat anything they can find.

Their mother teaches them how to swallow spoiled food by holding their noses. But even amid these horrors of poverty and alcoholism, Jeannette Walls expresses the genuine love within her family. They are loyal to each other, and Rex, in his sober moments, is wise, encouraging, and tender with his children.

In her memoir, Walls brilliantly crafts her experiences so that we can see the transformation of awareness that takes place as she grows up. As a little girl, she is uncritical of her parents. She loves them and does not realize how awfully deprived her life is. But as she and her siblings mature, they definitely realize that the shortcomings of their parents are not acceptable. The adolescent years of Jeannette are spent in West Virginia, where her father retreats to his hometown after going completely bust in Arizona.

The plumbing does not work. The Walls family buries its trash and sewage in little holes it digs. They almost never have any food. Jeannette goes through high school digging leftover sandwiches out of the garbage, and Rex fills the role of town drunk. As miserable want defines their lives, Jeannette's mother does the most infuriating things.

When Jeannette and her brother find a diamond ring, they immediately want to sell it for food, but their mother keeps it to "improve her self esteem. As Jeannette Walls tells the story of her disgraceful upbringing, you will admire her perseverance and that of her siblings.

The Walls children eventually take charge of their own lives and support each other into normal adult lives in a beautiful display of closeness among siblings. Every page of "The Glass Castle" will shock you with the shameless and selfish actions of parents who are unable and unwilling to even try to take care of their children or themselves. Despite her appalling parents, Walls rarely chastises them with her writing. Her love for her parents often comes through with aching dismay.

Much more happens throughout this amazing memoir than has been mentioned here. It is truly a masterpiece of storytelling and far superior than the typical bestseller. Feb 27, Scot rated it it was ok. I know many people love this book, remarking on how powerful and moving it was, but I had some deep problems with the narrator's memory process, and some issues about what lessons I was ultimately supposed to learn here.

It is a riveting tale, full of unforgettable suffering, strife, and perseverance, about growing up with two bohemian-minded parents, one a raging alcoholic and the other a manic depressive. It is the story of the dangerous synergy that combination produced, and how the narrator I know many people love this book, remarking on how powerful and moving it was, but I had some deep problems with the narrator's memory process, and some issues about what lessons I was ultimately supposed to learn here.

It is the story of the dangerous synergy that combination produced, and how the narrator and her siblings endured, withstood, and well, some of them triumphed. The film, when made, should do well at the box office. However, I am reminded of how a friend once explained Narcissism to me. These were things someone who lived the experience would have known.

She certainly claims to have a vivid memory of a lot of things that happened when she was three years old, too! Although doubtful of the veracity, I was compelled by the series of diverse settings, the odd mix of characters, and the ongoing unpredictable calamities to read on and see what happens, if anything, at the end.

View all 22 comments. Jun 09, BlackOxford rated it really liked it Shelves: Her actuarial chance of surviving was close to zero in her Keystone Cops version of childhood. With two dipsy parents, one a violent drunk, the other a spaced-out avatar of Vishnu, she had experiences which the SAS would have had difficulty enduring. Severe scalding, scorpion bites, being thrown from a moving car, locked in the back of a truck for fourteen hours, incipient starvation, drowning, and mauling by a cheetah, not to menti Overly-Woke to Family Values Jeanette Walls should not be alive.

Severe scalding, scorpion bites, being thrown from a moving car, locked in the back of a truck for fourteen hours, incipient starvation, drowning, and mauling by a cheetah, not to mention numerous punctures, falls, fights, and a questionable diet - these were routine events before she turned eight years old.

Medical care was for sissies according to dad. Their poverty, instability, inability to create social relationships, they claimed, were a blessing. And boy was there a lot of that.

An education in itself really. She writes with wit and humour about a deplorable life with incompetent and psychotic parents. I find this distressing.

The issue is not one of an acceptably eccentric alternative life style, or of an odd upbringing being overcome, or of children loving their parents in tough circumstances.

The poignancy of her portrayal of the caring dad after he almost killed her yet again, with no apparent irony much less sarcasm, is typical: And it may provide a way for her to deal with the effects of her childhood. It will certainly make a good film. If it were an episode of SVU, Benson would have nailed them. View all 33 comments.

Aug 13, Madeleine rated it liked it Shelves: It's no secret that I get to read on the job. I proofread for a financial publisher, which means that I spend my days getting lost in the lilting legalese of prospectuses, trustee meeting results, shareholder reports, highlight sheets — it's riveting stuff, trust me.

But we're a small operation with only a few clients and the fiscal schedule is defined by a feast-or-famine work flow: While the numbers are still being tabulated, portfolio managers are polishing their semiannual interviews and sty It's no secret that I get to read on the job. Long story short, I escaped the ordeal with my admittedly low expectations of humanity exceeded by miles.

I called out of work for two days not because my boobs were bleeding they were or because it hurt to move my neck it did or because pulling open doors made me feel like my chest was on fire holy crap, did it ever , though my collection of minor injuries eased the terminally itchy conscience that won't even be appeased by having a valid excuse for calling out and leaving other people to pick up my slack unless I accept a load of Catholic-sized guilt in exchange lest I give myself a few justifiable recovery days without the appropriate reciprocal suffering.

My coping method of choice? Alternately napping like a champ and juggling three books, including this memoir of the girl who was born to a bitterly brilliant drunk she idolized and an indifferent, self-involved artist who she tried so hard to understand, only to become the person she was meant to be with little support from the two people who should have been there to cheer her on all the way.

But then the little-girl hero worship Jeanette felt for her tortured, misunderstood genius of her father just struck every raw nerve I have and just poked and poked until I had to physically distance myself from the book. It's distracting to be doing other things and thinking about the book you'd rather be reading. I, uh, may have transferred a lot of my own lingering anger at my emotionally damaging mother onto Mrs.

Walls, which makes me question how justified my screaming dislike of her is. The less said about Papa Walls, the better. My father might not have been a hopeless drunk but I kind of wish he had some kind of excuse for routinely breaking promises to the children who thought the sun rose and set on him. That first hard look at how helpless and broken the man behind the curtain is When Jeannette found her way to the school paper and sampled her first taste of print journalism's sweet, sweet escapist nectar Being a half-consumed whiskey bottle rolling around an otherwise empty desk away from calling herself a true-blooded journalist at such a young age would have won me over if the entire book preceding such a moment hadn't already made me want to see Jeannette find her place in the world.

Newsroom nostalgia will always be the easiest way to my too-soft heart. Walls describes what she sees, reporting the facts and supplying exposition as needed like any good journalist. Also like a good journalist, emotions get minimal face time here. Jeannette is the perfect narrator because it seems as though she is the most willing to accept her parents for what they are.

Even though I selfishly wanted to know how her adult self dealt with the fallout of her turbulent childhood because every little adult grows up to be a big child, let's be honest , I found myself admiring how Jeannette was in no way reliant on cheap feelings to maneuver the story to its conclusion. Jeannette and her siblings are the heroes of this story.

They get themselves out of a bad situation one by one, fishing out each younger sibling as the means become available. Christ, I still have two more reviews to catch up on and a stack of pumpkin pancakes that are clearly not going to eat themselves unless they plan to fight me for the privilege. In short, this book was fucking great but it struck far too close to home in ways I may have overly personalized.

It didn't make me laugh like it did my coworker but it sure as hell did make me appreciate how Jeannette Walls turned out. I've had a lot of people recently and unknowingly demonstrate that humanity might not be as awful as I've always thought it to be, and witnessing a grown child forgive her parents for their many crimes against her certainly made for the kind of book that confirmed it's probably time to fix my perspective.

Maybe we're not as fucked of a species as I've feared all along. How difficult it must be to share such intimate details with the world and then sit back while they judge not only you based on your life, but also the people that you loved, love, despite themselves, despite the things they did or did not do. Nothing about this memoir seeks pity, or condemnation of those who raised her, or even of the way she was raised, it just is the way it was, and now her life is different.

I was too removed or too detached from the story. I eventually ended up writing it from the perspective of a child so it would be emotional and vulnerable and true to those feelings. How does speaking your truth affect how you feel about your life now? Has it changed you? It has changed how I feel hugely and immensely. But people have responded in such a positive way.

People share back their stories with me. Everywhere I go, someone talks to me on this deep and loving level. Everyone has embarrassing things in their past. People have this huge capacity for understanding each other. My life is not just about the past. Do you think their might be an element of a mental illness? Maybe they had conditions of some kind. Maybe that is some kind of syndrome? My father was definitely an alcoholic. That is a good question. They were never diagnosed with anything.

Laughs Yet, she gravitates towards chaos. Everything in life is gray, you know? My brother sees things in black and white but I see only shades of grays. No one is completely sane. If my dad could have stopped drinking — would things have been different? But what good does it do anyone at this point to dwell on those kinds of things? My parents — they did the best they could. Why focus on the bad or negative?

I wanted to thank my mom. I told her I wanted to get her something. I was thinking a car or something. Or something that could really help her in some way. She told me a bit later that she had found what she wanted. It was an amber bracelet with filigree around it. Laughs Who am I to say that is not what she needed? She knows herself better than I know her. This is a lifestyle choice on her part. Mom has many wonderful qualities.

You know, everyone is dealt a certain hand. I was so much luckier than some kids. We were poor but we were never made to feel bad about ourselves. I knew some kids who got such mixed messages from their parents, who would pull strings for them, confuse them and make them feel so bad about themselves.

I never had any question that my parents loved me. I had a real sense of self confidence. I knew I could do anything. I knew I could get into the best schools. I think about that now and I marvel at my audacity! Laughs But my parents instilled that confidence in me. The part of your story where you talk about making your own braces I think is my favorite part. I actually met someone else that did almost the same thing! Your book is just wonderful, Jeannette.

I think it will do many people a lot of good. People use this book for their own agenda. I just found out that my book is assigned reading in a Westhampton school. I hope it helps them understand poor people so they can be kinder to them. If that happens, it would make me so happy.

Her book is available on Amazon: I thought I had the worse childhood…alcoholic father, mother that could not find the right man,…poor but taught to not talk about it and hold head up high.

It has all stayed with me even to this day at


Main Topics

Privacy Policy

A detailed discussion of the writing styles running throughout The Glass Castle The Glass Castle including including point of view, structure, setting, language, and meaning.

Privacy FAQs

Jeannette Walls Writing Style About the Author A famous writer and journalist Jeannette Walls is previously recognized as gossips columnist in MSNBC. She is also recognized as the author of Half Broke Horses and The Glass Castle. She has earned great name in writing. This assignment is to analyze the writing style of Walls.

About Our Ads

She has a different style of writing and she tells you every little detail of her life, whether you like it or not. When Jeannette Walls writes about her father, Rex Walls, you can tell that she idolizes him. Handpicked recommendations to authors who have a similar writing style to Jeannette Walls.

Cookie Info

Watch video · But Jeannette Walls no longer minds that it was only ever a dream. "In another way, though, I feel that it kind of has been built," Walls said. "Because it was never really about the Glass Castle. Listserv archives, FAQs, and jeannette walls writing style resources, including a directory of freelancers A couple chicken hatred toward the church fingers and a small side salad. Sophie Kinsella: Copyediting List at Indiana University for copy editors.