Jeannette Walls,
The Glass Castle
(Scribner, 2006)

This book was recommended by a friend, and I found I could not put it down. Jeanette Walls has become successful despite an early life filled with trauma and struggle. Her memoir courageously tells a story of brutal survival, and her ability to tell it without bitterness is impressive.

Emotionally and physically abandoned by selfish parents who were not fit to be raising children, Walls and her siblings relied on themselves for all the basic needs of life. The children could not look to extended family for rescue either, as they were no better. I was horrified at what her father thought was acceptable, when he wanted to make Jeanette part of a "team" to hustle victims in a pool hall. With this kind of betrayal, it is amazing that Jeannette can reach back into her childhood and find touching memories, such as being given a planet as a gift.

I think of this story often, and will remember it forever.

book review by
Lee Lukaszewicz

26 February 2011

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