Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls......

The Glass Castle is another book by Jeannette Walls, who also wrote Half-Broke Horses, a book I wrote about back in December. While the latter was about her grandmother, The Glass Castle is about the author's own growing-up years and the trials associated with being A) poor and B) a child of her particular parents. Anyone who has ever thought he or she was poor, neglected, mistreated, or unfortunate should have to read this book. It surely makes me appreciate the years I spent in a trailer park, which looks like an amusement park next to the places Walls and her family lived.

The book begins as Walls is on her way to a party in New York City. She looks out the window of the taxi and sees a typical homeless woman in the city, rooting through the trash in a dumpster. Walls slides down in the taxi to avoid having the homeless woman, her mother, recognize her and call out to her.

This book touched me in so many different ways. I admire Walls for her strength and her courage, but mostly I admire her for an uncanny ability to tell a very difficult story without bitterness. I didn't strike me until the end that her tone was never one of self-sympathy or anger at her parents. She tells it in a very straightforward and honest manner. I have just watched a couple of videos of her speaking to what appears to be a very small group, and she is a delightful speaker.

Definitely a must-read. It may even be a must-read-again.

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