Wow. A stunning look at a family experiencing extreme poverty. But maybe it's not the story you expect. Until the children become teenagers, their life is hard, but poverty is not their focus. They are fun, loving, warm, and a bit madcap. It really underscores that young children long to and will if possible bond with and love their parents. But the poverty and deprivation are there and oh, so deep.
Incredible story, thoughtful on so many levels.
I was immediately drawn into this book! Wow! There were times during my reading when I wanted to reach into the book and strangle Mary and Rex for being so selfish and stubborn. I'm all for raising kids to be self-sufficient, but it is a parent's responsibility to care for their children. I did admire them in ways. Despite their seriously flawed parenting style, or perhaps because of it, their three oldest children turned out just fine. I would not have wanted to grow up like they did, but the Walls family did have some good times and I did agree with Mary and Rex on some points regarding parenting. Poor Maureen seemed out of the loop with her older siblings. She had missed out on happier times with her parents, who no longer had any 'skedaddle' left in them by the time they reached Welch, and she suffered because of it. She did not receive much attention from her parents and was not as self-sufficient as her siblings were. I felt bad for her and I hope she turned out alright. I really enjoyed this book.
Jeannette Walls had an unusual childhood. Her dad was an alcoholic with big plans and her mother was an artist always on the lookout for an adventure. Together these 2 had 4 children, including the author. They moved around a bit and money was always tight. The children were often forced to fend for themselves. It was a very moving story told in brief glimpses at various points of the author's youth. All I could think while reading is "Wow, if she was able to survive all of that and come out on top, pretty much anyone can!" Fascinating and highly recommended.
Calling all readers who believe their parents are insane.....you have NO IDEA about crazy until you read this book. Walls' parents and her childhood are so remarkably whacked, it is difficult to believe some of this isn't fabricated. This book is thoroughly bizarre from start to finish, which makes it a must read! It will enhance your self-esteem to realize, no matter how messed up life can be, there are people (a) more messed up, or (b) strong enough to prevail and make their lives exactly what they want them to be.
A disturbing glimpse of life inside a very dysfunctional family. The incidents in this book are so unbelievable that it seems incredible someone could could out of this childhood to have a successful adult life.