Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Glass Castle

Have y'all read this book?


Do yourself a favor and read this. It's a beautifully written memoir about growing up in poverty and learning to hold onto your dreams. I have to admit, I wasn't anxious to read this at first. Mainly because my TBR list is very long and I'd never heard of this book. It just so happened it was my book club's selection this month, and I downloaded a sample for my Kindle to see if I wanted to finish it sooner before later.

I could not put it down.

I wasn't expecting to be so captivated with it. I didn't even realize it was a memoir until I decided to look up the author, Jeannette Walls, and learned she's a very successful journalist in NYC. This story is about her life, growing up with very eccentric parents who, if best described as free spirits, would be a gross understatement. They despised authority and rules in just about any form, and their parenting skills were downright despicable at times. But the essence of their characters was so riveting and charismatic, it was almost excusable. Almost. Not quite.

Jeannette's parents had me cheering for them at times, and at other times, wanting to give them a good kick in the butt. I honestly couldn't decide whether I liked them or not through a lot of the story. At first, I loved them, then I loathed them, but by the end I saw them through Jeannette's eyes and was simply astounded by the gifts these parents bestowed upon their children. Gifts unattainable with money. Gifts more valuable than any luxury most parents are so eager to offer to their children.

This memoir reminded me what's most important in life. And how being easy on our children and giving them everything they ask for is denying them strength of character in the end. Now, I'm not saying we should go to the extreme Jeannette's parents went to, who often didn't provide food for days at a time which forced the kids to rummage through garbage cans for nourishment, but I am saying there's something to be learned from the kind of life Jeannette had.

I felt so connected to Jeannette's family all the way through, that I was disappointed the story was over. I want more. Coincidentally, she has a sequel out and I plan on downloading that asap. There's something so beautiful in starting a book that you have no preconceived notions about and just being reeled into it.

At the point I realized this memoir was not just about Jeannette's life, but a tribute to her father, tears streamed down my face. I was so moved that I just sat there and cried. That's how powerful this story is.

I'll be online at WriteOnCon for the next few days. If you're there, hope to see you! If not and you write kid lit, check it out! Link on the right had side here --->

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have you read The Glass Castle? What are your thoughts on it? Has there been another story that's touched you deeply? Please share ....

28 comments:

Jessica Bell said...

Wow. Sounds great. Actually, yeah, I posted about the book yesterday. In fact, it's a memoir too. You should check it out. I think you'd like it!

Trisha Leaver said...

Had to read it for my book club a few months back. Like you, it wasn't high on my priority list, but once I started it, I couldn't put it own.

Old Kitty said...

Sounds like a fab memoir!! I'm just getting into memoir reading! Jeannette Walls' family sounds most amazing! Thanks for the review and info! Take care
x

Old Kitty said...

Sounds like a fab memoir!! I'm just getting into memoir reading! Jeannette Walls' family sounds most amazing! Thanks for the review and info! Take care
x

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Sounds a wonderful book, one must keep those dreams alive and with hope thery will come true,

Yvonne.,

Jess said...

I've never read that book before but it sounds amazing! I mostly read fiction but I might be able to find the time to read this one!! Awesome post!

Isis Rushdan said...

I rarely read memoirs, but this one sounds interesting. Thanks for recommending it.

Kittie Howard said...

Sounds like a must read - thanks, PK. I really enjoy a well-written memoir. There's so much to learn from the experiences of others.

Alyssa said...

Sounds really good, I haven't heard of it but I'll definitely check it out now! Awesome post! :)

Karen Walker said...

One of my favorite memoirs - powerful story, beautifully written. Loved it so much.
Karen

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No, I haven't read that one yet.

Susan Kane said...

Excellent title--will check it out.

Beverly Diehl said...

Greetings, PK - and curses upon you. Like I need another book on my TBR list! This one sounds too good to pass up!

Stopping by via The Warrior Muse, another A-Zer here. :-)

Angela Felsted said...

I haven't read it, but have heard both good and bad things about it. That the parents have major problems which seriously impact their children.

GigglesandGuns said...

Sounds fascinating. Thanks for the review.
I'll kindle it for later.

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Wow, sounds like an interesting memoir. Amazing that these parents, who I would have arrested for child abuse, developed such strength of character in their children. I agree that being easy on our children and giving them everything often fails to do that. And adversity is often a great builder of character, but most parents would not want their children to face adversity.

kmckendry said...

I guess I have to add another book to my TBR. It sounds great. Nothing has reached into my soul as of late. But right now I'm reading "Escape from the Land of the Snows", which is a vivid recounting of the young Dalai Lama's escape from Tibet. Very good so far.

Karen Walker said...

Hi, there's an award for you on my blog today
Karen

Stephen Tremp said...

Its great to meet Jeannette Walls! Best wishes for her and The Glass Castle.

Kris Yankee said...

I did read this book a long time ago. I just looked it up on Amazon and saw that it came out in 2005. I remember being captivated, as well, by her life and what she'd gone through as a child. Thanks for reminding me about it.

Julie said...

Ooooo... I've heard of this one! Its supposed to be fantastic! Thanks for the reminder... it needs to go on my "To Read" list!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Wow. Interesting book. Wandered over from Matt's at QQQ.

Lydia K said...

It sounds like an amazing memoir, especially given how people parent these days. Thanks for the eye-opening review!

Katrina L. Lantz said...

It does sound compelling, but just your review almost brought me to tears. Not sure I could handle the actual memoir. I already read The Help this year and usually limit myself to one life-changing book per year. ;) (joking, of course)

I'll definitely at it to my goodreads list. Thanks for the heartfelt review.

Katrina L. Lantz said...

Sorry, that's *add it to goodreads. Brain fail.

Catherine Stine said...

Yes, amazing book. I keep telling my hubby to read it as he's writing a memoir about his od family and I'm sure it'd inspire him.

DM said...

You make this book sound so good. I'll have to read it when I have some time.

LTM said...

I had a friend who could not stop talking about this book. Then we formed a book club, and naturally she made us all read it. It IS fantastic. You want to kill her parents the whole time, and you're laughing at horrible stuff that shouldn't be happening! It's amazing.

Same friend recommends Half Broke Horses, the story of her g'mom. Just fyi~ :o) <3