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The Glass Castle
The Glass Castle
Author: Jeannette Walls
Jeannette Walls's father always called her "Mountain Goat" and there's perhaps no more apt nickname for a girl who navigated a sheer and towering cliff of childhood both daily and stoically. In The Glass Castle, Walls chronicles her upbringing at the hands of eccentric, nomadic parents -- Rose Mary, her frustrated-artist mother...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780743247542
ISBN-10: 074324754X
Publication Date: 1/9/2006
Pages: 288
Rating:
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 3372

4.2 stars, based on 3372 ratings
Publisher: Scribner
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 52
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Glass Castle on + 337 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 50
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.
reviewed The Glass Castle on + 252 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 39
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.
reviewed The Glass Castle on + 139 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 37
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.
reviewed The Glass Castle on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 23
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.
reviewed The Glass Castle on + 173 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 23
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.
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reviewed The Glass Castle on + 167 more book reviews
This is an amazing, tragic and heartwarming autobiography of a woman who survived a childhood most of us could barely imagine. One of four children of Rex and Rose Mary Walls, Jeannette eloquently tells the tale of her chaotic childhood in a clear and compelling voice.

The author and her three siblings were brought up by deeply troubled grown-ups who rebelled against the "establishment", lived off the land more often than not, and neglected to provide their children with even the most basic necessities. The kids, though hungry, cold and dirty, learned to fend for themselves. I had to put the book down a few times out of pure frustration with the elder Walls. Both were intelligent and talented, but completely unwilling to take on even the slightest responsibility in caring for the children.

Despite an almost hopeless upbringing, all but one of the children managed to avoid a seemingly-guaranteed hopeless adulthood. As to the one child who could not, one is left to wonder about the influence of genetics.

While this book may sound like a downer, it is not. It is a fascinating tale of survival and love, tolerance and forgiveness. I highly recommend it.
reviewed The Glass Castle on + 215 more book reviews
This is one of those books that is really difficult to evaluate and give a rating to. One cannot really say they enjoy it, as there is some really messed up stuff in this book, but in the end Jeannette Walls' story is so inspiring, I could not help but feel as though I came away a better person from reading the book. Not good for those who are easily bothered by stories of dysfunctional families, as this family just about wins the medal for most dysfunctional parents who actually still care about their kids. Still, as I began to read the story of the Walls siblings, their family adventures, and how they escape their family background, there was a tremendous sense of amazement for how two people so detached could still give their children exactly what they needed to ultimately survive. Nobody's childhood is perfect, but it will almost certainly look far better after reading this book.
reviewed The Glass Castle on + 31 more book reviews
This is an incredible tru life story about a remarkably quirky family. I had to keep reminding myself that it truly was a memoir. It's amazing how much this family endured and what sadly became of them as adults. I could not put it down and have recommended it to many since.


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