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Topic: The Glass Castle Jeanette Walls.....Comments?

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Subject: The Glass Castle Jeanette Walls.....Comments?
Date Posted: 8/5/2007 4:41 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 67
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I'm in the middle of reading this WONDERFUL childhood memoir.........just wondering what ya'll think of it?.......anyone read it?......Comments?

Date Posted: 8/5/2007 5:59 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2006
Posts: 241
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I loved it...I alternated between hating the mother and hating the father in the story, but was amazed throughout of the resiliency of the children. It was a book that stayed with me for a while after finishing it.


L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 8/5/2007 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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I liked it but didn't think it was nearly as good as Haven Kimmel's books.  It wasn't a keeper for me.

Date Posted: 8/5/2007 11:24 PM ET
Member Since: 9/12/2005
Posts: 741
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I loved it, it's one of my favorite memoirs. It's in my keeper pile, I have shared this book with all my friends.

I didn't like Haven Kimmel's books :)

Date Posted: 8/6/2007 7:28 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2005
Posts: 2,168
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I thought it was decent.

I believe I would have had to choke my mother at the end of it  though.


Date Posted: 8/6/2007 9:22 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,279
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Talk about resiliency! I thought it was an amazing memoir, and I made everyone I know read it and everyone was just astounded by it... We all felt the need to talk about it!

You hear so many people whining about their childhoods, when in reality so few of us have had to cope with anything like the author, and come through it so well balanced.

I also just finished reading A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer, which is another amazing story of overcoming a seemingly impossible situation to emerge a well-balanced member of society. Makes you wonder why some people are such survivors and others never get past the average ups and downs of a somewhat normal childhood...?

I will carry the author's story with me forever, it was that moving to me.

Last Edited on: 8/6/07 9:43 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/6/2007 5:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2007
Posts: 94
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I read it for my book club and LOVED it!!!  The parents really aggravated me, but I think that made me love it even more bc I became so involved!!!!

Date Posted: 8/6/2007 7:32 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,743
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I loved this book.  I had a chance to meet the author (she attended the West Virginia Library Association Conference last fall) and hear her speak.  What an amazing story!  I think it touched a lot of us in W.Va.'s library community simply because she lived here for a time.  And frankly, I know some children that live in similar conditions.  It gave me hope, that in spite of such a childhood, she and her siblings survived intact.

Date Posted: 8/6/2007 7:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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I thought this book was excellent. Even though she was raised in poverty and neglect, Walls doesn’t play the victim. She deftly shows the good and the bad; the neglect and the love. Fascinating, appalling, compassionate, sad, triumphant – this is a book I will remember for a long time.

Date Posted: 8/6/2007 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 67
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Yes.......I agree!  I have finished the book now..........and the thing that struck me is the lack of Bitterness.  This is not a "Mommie Dearest" poor me book.  It is about Love and Survival and Wit and desire to make good.   A wonderful story.  Brad Pitt's production company called "Plan B" has purchased the rights to this book and COULD make it a movie in 2009.....that would be interesting.  I know I will not soon forget this book.  Jeannett Walls is a VERY gifted writer!!

S -
Date Posted: 8/6/2007 11:54 PM ET
Member Since: 3/7/2006
Posts: 55
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I loved this one, too. Though I was just beside myself going "what the heck is she thinking" half the time, I really enjoyed the read.

Date Posted: 8/7/2007 4:21 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2006
Posts: 182
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This was a great memoir.  All too often kids in those type of situations don't turn out nearly as well.  I was glad those kids somehow found it in themselves to be more and do more than their parents showed them.

Date Posted: 8/8/2007 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2005
Posts: 33
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I liked it.  It's amazing to me what kids can endure and come out intelligent and whole despite the ignorance of the parents.

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 12:24 AM ET
Member Since: 9/26/2005
Posts: 4,490
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I thought it was OK.  I would agree that Kimmel's "Zippy" is a far superior book in the "woe is me, child of the alcoholic" genre.

Date Posted: 8/10/2007 6:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2007
Posts: 23
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I had serious problems with The Glass Castle.  Rather than retyping my thoughts on this one, here is the link to my journal entry - it's #3.



Date Posted: 8/10/2007 9:50 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,743
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I'm not sure anyone truly admires Walls's parents; Jeanette and her siblings are remarkable and admirable. The parents? Not so much.   I do understand getting tired of such stories; far too many, far too frequent.  But I was fully aware that it was about a dysfunctional family when I picked it up...weren't you?  It reminded me very much of "Angela's Ashes" because I was also struck by the fortitude of  poor, blameless children in such a situation. 

Date Posted: 8/11/2007 7:43 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 108
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I didn't like it.  In fact I think most of it is fiction.

Date Posted: 8/11/2007 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
Posts: 7,666
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Scott, I had just sent you a PM about another book, and mentioned this one.  I come here and you've already posted on it!  I liked this one a lot, especially because of the lack of bitterness. 

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 8/12/2007 2:01 PM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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Vicky, you made a really good point.  I knew children like this.  I think that's why I am fascinated by such stories.  I grew up poor, but dang, these lives go so far being just being poor, it's not even funny.  It makes me appreciate the parents I had so much more than I did as a child.


Date Posted: 8/13/2007 8:23 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
Posts: 4,743
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L, thanks.  I know what you mean about appreciating your parents!  My husband and I just had this conversation.  I remember I wanted to go to Woodstock SO BADLY!!  I HOUNDED my parents for weeks!  They were so mean! Unreasonable!!  I could take care of myself...I was 13, not a baby!! 

The funny thing was, when Woodstock Two (or whatever they ended up calling it) was held, back in 94 or 95, MY daughter (who was, eerily enough, 13)  wanted to go SO BADLY!!  She HOUNDED me for weeks!!  Ummm...you know how this story is going to end, I'm sure.  But I came away with such a deeper understanding of the care and love my parents had for me.  So when I read books like this, it astounds me. 

And you're right: it wasn't just the poverty.  It was such true hardship for these kids.  They are amazing people.

Date Posted: 8/13/2007 12:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2006
Posts: 20
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I too read the book, and could not wait to pass it on to all my friends before posting it on PBS.

For those of us who have had somewhat normal lives, how awe inspiring it is to read about this little girl that had the strength and character to take it all in stride!  As fo me, I'm sure I would have been trying to hide my parents from the rest of the world, ever mindful of their lack of conformity.  And yet she found so many pleasures in so many small ways, lived with their instability and eccentricities,and never stopped loving her family!

What a woman - what a book - an inspiration for us all!

Munro (Barbara I.




Date Posted: 8/13/2007 8:58 PM ET
Member Since: 3/17/2007
Posts: 445
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I loved this book.  It made me appreciate the life that I had - even though it was not perfect, I had loving parents who did the best they could.  Which is more than can be said for some.

Date Posted: 8/19/2007 6:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 47
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I loved the book...it wasn't quite what I was expecting when I picked it up...I thought it would be more about the alcoholism and abuse than the children overcoming their odd parents.   While it did mention the alcohol abuse, it didn't drone on and on about it as other memoirs do...I found the other eccentricites of the parents interesting.  It is one of those stories you wonder about as a kid...what if I were homeless?  what would we eat?  where would we live?  and it made those questions real....these kids lived it!  I'm going through a memoir phase right now, and this has been one of my favorites....similar to Running With Scissors, but not so schizophrenic!