I loved this book! But then, I knew I would because I loved Ms. Wall's The Glass Castle and Half Broke Horses.
The narrator, Bean, is a smart and spunky 12 year old girl with wisdom far beyond her years, even beyond that of her 16 year old sister or their whackadoodle mother. When their mother doesn't return from a short trip (not the first time she's left them), the girls travel by bus from California to Virginia to stay with their uncle.
They have a little trouble adjusting to their new school at the same time (1970) their school has just been integrated and is adjusting to that. Without their uncle's knowledge and against his wishes, they find paying jobs helping at the home of the cotton mill's manager. Bean helps the manager's wife with three young kids and Liz works in the manager's home office. The manager turns out to be a bully who takes advantage of the girls and finally attacks Liz in the back seat of his car. The law suit that results brings the family together but affects each one differently.
Dealing with some very serious themes, the book still manages to be a fast and enjoyable read because of the way Bean (Jean) relates the story. She is a delightful child. Liz has a way with words, making up some very amusing Ogden Nash type poetry about emus. And the mother, even with her emotional and mental problems, does obviously love her girls. Actually, most of the characters are very likeable except for the mill manager. There is much love in this family.
I liked this book but nothing she ever writes is going to beat the Glass Castle. This was a nice little story and I did enjoy it. About two girls who their mother left them with her uncle. Just the ups and downs of being without her and their adventures in the little town that they lived in. A good, easy read.
Quick, pleasant read. Does NOT live up to her previous two books. Glass Castles was a riveting, consuming story. This one is good, but is lightweight in comparison.
This is the 1st fictional book I have read by Jeannette Walls and it is as enjoyable as her non-fiction work.
It's the story of two sisters - Liz and Jean "Bean" - whose mom is not the most stable of parents. Their mom has a habit of leaving for days or weeks at a time and the girls are left to fend for themselves. After Bean discovers their mom has been telling a pretty elaborate lie, she leaves them behind once again and the girls end up going to live with an uncle in their mom's home town. The majority of the story takes place in this small town and there are many different things going on simultaneously in the story including Bean meeting family she never knew, the girls starting at a new school during the town's 1st year of desegregation, and dealing with their uncle who has basically been living as a shut-in.
There is so much more to this story than I can write here but anyone who loves Ms. Walls' other books will definitely find this one worth reading!
Interesting and sad at the same time. The ending was a little to easy or simple for me. It seemed to finish the book up too neatly.
Strong start followed by a story I found simplistic and ultimately unsatisfying.