Book Review of The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle
The Glass Castle
Author: Jeannette Walls
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 168 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.