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Topic: The Glass Castle; Jeanette Walls

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Subject: The Glass Castle; Jeanette Walls
Date Posted: 9/16/2007 6:11 AM ET
Member Since: 6/14/2006
Posts: 5
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Is there an actual link on PBS to individual book discussion? I'm asking because this forum topic is "hidden gems" and I wasn't sure my post is appropriate here but I really wanted to join a book discussion on this particular book. Anyone else interested?  I was left on the fence at the end of this book.

Date Posted: 9/16/2007 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2007
Posts: 3,237
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I think this forum is where people can talk about individual books. I've seen other book topics here, anyway. :-)

I don't usually like books like that, with sad, mentally ill people and tragedy and waste, but I thought the author told the story SO WELL! You felt the neglect and sorrow, but she still managed to be so fair to her parents, and to try to bring out the few good things she got from them.

What did you feel on the fence about? I'm curious.

Date Posted: 9/16/2007 3:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/14/2006
Posts: 626
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My mother just finished this book and thought it awsome.  I can't wait to read it.  It is enroute as we speak.  Make sure there are no spoilers.  :)

Date Posted: 9/16/2007 4:44 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2007
Posts: 94
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Read it for my book club!  Thought is was great!!! She was recently on a rerun of Oprah telling her story.  She claims to be successful and doing well, but after growing up like that she must be a bit unstable...I would be!! 

Date Posted: 9/17/2007 9:57 AM ET
Member Since: 6/14/2006
Posts: 5
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 I said it seemed to be written without emotion but I realize (after reading some interviews with her) that she did write it from a child's perspective - just straightforward.   What I'm on the fence about is how  (as a socialized adult) you may believe it was simply a negligent parent family life. But if you read it with childlike wonder it reads a carefree life with the work all have to do (hunting and gathering) Also what I found to be nice was how she portrayed the relationship with her siblings - they just supported and obviously loved each other; they were forced to obviously, since their parents were so absent (physically or mentally); and I'm guessing they fought but not like siblings that actually need to rely on their parents :) ....I've read several interviews with her and a couple of them do address what I was thinking...She doesn't recommend it as a parenting style but she does say her family was close - Her parents didn't concern themselves with the trappings of modern society and the children almost seemed to benefit from that - although perhaps the insane-genius and intelligent genes they inherited kept them "sane".  In another interview she states that (at least her father) seemed to believe in the "wild animal" way of raising children. I wonder how her brother is as a parent.  I believe her younger sister snapped because she didn't remember the slight advantages of adventure the other ones had and was only ever in WV during her formative years.  I also wonder if her parents almost set up their chidren as an experiment in living like that to see what kind of adults they would turn into; her father certainly seems to have been the type to start a project like that and walk away from it. If he (or she) were already crazy / hippie / back to nature / eschew modern life  types before they had their children then why did they have such a normal (obviously from the photograph) wedding? - I'd like her mother to write a book :) - AND it's obvious why her mom never sold TX property or otherwise tried to acquire money for the family; she knew (as her husbands wife) the he would drink or gamble it away; and although he has died, that training won't leave her.

Date Posted: 9/19/2007 8:36 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2005
Posts: 2,168
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I was very disturbed at the end, and felt that the mother needed smacked upside the head. Just my .02.

L. G. (L)
Date Posted: 9/22/2007 6:00 AM ET
Member Since: 9/5/2005
Posts: 12,412
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I liked the book, and while I think it was *good* I wasn't enthralled with it like some others seem to have been. 

Date Posted: 10/13/2007 8:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/26/2007
Posts: 19
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A friend just told me today that he recently read an article about this book. It said that her family, and several people who were part of her life or knew her, were angry that she had grossly exagerated how bad her life was. I haven't read the book so I can't comment but since I saw this posting I thought I'd add my 2 cents.
Date Posted: 10/15/2007 8:17 AM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2006
Posts: 19
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I just finished reading this book.  I could not put it down.  I stayed up last night and finished it around 2:00 in the morning.  I have never seen the author speak.  It is told with little emotion but I wonder if she got that from her mother.  While their life was hard before WV it at least was also fun at times.  After they moved to WV it was just painfully sad.  The whole thing kind of reminded me of one of those extreme families on Wife Swap or Trading Spouses.  The parents were both obviously very smart and did have some good thoughts.  Too bad the father became an alcoholic.  The mother obviously had some mental issues and the father seems to have come from an abusive and horrible childhood and was fighting inner demons.  I'm happy that the author has been successful.  I hope she is happy.  Too bad about the younger sister.  She did never get to experience the better parts out west and she never seemed to have the tight bond with the other 3, maybe because of the age difference.  Parts of this book will stay with me forever.

Last Edited on: 10/17/07 2:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 1