Book Review: “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls

Wow! I never knew there are parents out there that are so irresponsible for their children. They have so many issues of their own. Being children to those parents got to be tough when the basic food and shelter are not certain. I don’t know if that can be compensated or made up for by having an exciting life – constantly on the move as if it’s one big adventure. Moving around or having to adapt constantly does make one receptive to changes. Furthermore, it’s amazing how resilient kids can be if left to their own survival and how readily they accept the status quo without much complaint. It’s when they finally grow up they realize how different they are. I also wonder how much we’re influenced by our childhood experience. Sometimes being tough growing up could develop good virtues, common sense and good gut feel (street smartness). The author’s youngest sister did not subject to the same level of survival issues, thus did not fare well as she grew up. Children do look up to their parents as it’s the only way to look at life. Having a broad perspectives and teaching them accordingly can help develop their well roundness as the author’s parents have done.

Without judging, there are certain kinds of people (like author’s parents) out there that simply do not conform to common sense. Being normal is not real “life.” Perhaps, the issues are related to alcohol or personality or something else but I must say they have “character.”

The author wrote the story with very little emotion except at the end when she had to deal with their homeless parents. Perhaps, I speculate she has been traumatized such that they would not have children of their own. She did blame herself for not being there for her younger sister.

What a wonderfully-written memoir! The author did a great job capturing the details of her childhood and yet wrote in an almost journalistic approach, allowing the readers to make their own judgement.

The Glass Castleat