Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Reading: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

  I first heard of The Glass Castle: A Memoiras a "banned" book. And I, for one, simply can't resist a little controversy. (Too bad they never banned my high school geometry book).
The Glass Castle details the childhood of Jeannette Walls and her siblings.  They were dragged around the country by her brilliant-but-alcoholic father and wanna-be-artist mother, living according to bizarre ideas about freedom mixed with crazy antics and paranoia about the government.  It was hard to imagine children in America digging through the trash for food, living in a shack without running water, sleeping in cardboard boxes.
I found this book absolutely riveting, although it was at times difficult to read.
It was painful for me, as a mother, to imagine my own children forced to live with hunger, cold, and the innumerable other atrocities visited upon the Walls children by their selfish, absentee parents.
Of all the unbelievable occurrences in this book, the most astonishing for me was the undying love and devotion the author maintained for her parents. As an adult she has amazing insight into them and is somehow able to regard them with love and compassion.  Walls is also able to capture the heartbreaking way that children accept their circumstances, however awful, and find fun, laughter and light in the most dreadful situations.
In my humble opinion, this one is a must read - it clarified for me exactly what I would do to make sure my children are warm, well-fed, and happy.  I love anything that awakens the generally dormant mother lion that resides inside this suburban, stay-at-home-mama.

1 comment:

  1. Loved that book! I didn't realize it was considered a banned book Not a pretty picture, but certainly an eye-opening read. Although the reporter instinct in me made me wonder if it was a little embelished. Nonetheless, a good read.