The Glass Castle: A Memoir

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The Glass Castle: A Memoir

Format:  Paperback,

288 pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publish Date: Jan 2006

ISBN-13: 9780743247542

ISBN-10: 074324754X

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.
Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.
Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town--and the family--Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.
What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.
For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to MSNBC.com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.

Specifications

Author:
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: Jan 2006
ISBN-13: 9780743247542
ISBN-10: 074324754X
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 288
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.0
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 5.2 x 1.0 x 7.9
Walmart No.: 074324754

About the author

Biography of Walls, Jeannette

Jeannette Walls was born in Phoenix, Arizona on April 21, 1960. She graduated from Barnard College and was a journalist in New York City for twenty years. Her books include her memoir entitled, The Glass Castle and a fiction novel based on her grandmother entitled, Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel. Walls novel The Silver Star made the New York Times bestseller list in 2013. Walls has also written for New York Magazine, Esquire and USA Today.

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2005-02-15)

MSNBC gossip columnist Walls (Dish: The Inside Story on the World of Gossip) wants to set the record straight about her background. Writing from a child's perspective, she relates the peripatetic lifestyle of her family, brought on by an alcoholic father and an artist mother who feels that rules and discipline hold people back. Neither parent holds a job for long, which forces the family either to skedaddle when the bills mount up or to move in with in-laws.

The kids end up having to fend for themselves, endure the teasing of their schoolmates, sleep on cardboard boxes, and scrounge for food. This is an extreme example of a dysfunctional family, and Walls does not shrink from exposing every detail. With one parental relapse after another, the reader begins to wonder how Walls will break out. Finally, she does so by joining her school newspaper and finding her calling, then moving to New York City to pursue it.

Walls, who openly expresses her shame and embarrassment about her parents, seems to have written this memoir to forgive herself for hiding her background. While she may be glad to get it off her chest, the reader is none the better for it. For large public libraries only.

-Gina Kaiser, Univ. of the Sciences in Philadelphia

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Evergreen Young Adult Book Award, 2008 (United States)
  • Christopher Book Awards, 2006 (United States)
  • New York Times Notable Books of the Year, 2005 (United States)
  • Book Sense Book of the Year, 2006 (United States)
  • Garden State Teen Book Award, 2008 (United States)
  • Virginia Reader's Choice Awards, 2008 - 2009 (United States)
  • Garden State Children's Book Awards, 2008 (United States)
  • Quill Awards, 2005 (United States)
  • American Library Association Notable Books, 2006 (United States)
  • Alex Awards, 2006 (United States)

Book description

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict". Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to MSNBC. com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.

Customer Product Reviews

Rated 4.8 out of 5★ by 17reviewers.
Rated 5 out of 5★ by Read This Book You won't be able to put this book down. Astonishing stories lurk around the turn of each page; you won't be able to stop until you know what happens next. Jeannette Walls is an amazing writer with an even more thrilling and amazing story. This book is uplifting and inspiring. The story had depth, growth and left absolutely nothing out. It brought me to places unimaginable and I hope one day I will be able to travel to some of them.The Glass Castle had everything from crazy family members to family members who just want to get out and forget. Growing up was an experience to be had, both amazing and difficult for the children in this novel. For example the neurotic father in the story takes his children to pet untamed lions and made them travel up and down the western US with no idea of a stable home. The reader really feels a part of the story and there are times where you will want to reach into the book and save these children. You will be shocked, warmed, dumbfounded, and enraptured by this book. It's amazing how strong people can really be and the lives that each of us lead can be so much deeper than we imagine.I would advise young readers to stay away from this book, because some of the scenes can be quite graphic, and the language is bad. I would recommend this book to teenagers and adults who are looking for a captivating read, which will keep you thinking all the way through.Read this book. 05/16/2009
Rated 4 out of 5★ by A good read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls must have been very difficult for her to write. Talk about a dysfunctional family! The children had a very rough upbringing since they mostly did that for themselves, but probably because of that they grew into strong adults! I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to others. Some things were hard to read because you realize that this was a real family, not fiction. 07/21/2008
Rated 5 out of 5 Glass Castle This is a great book. The parents of the author are unusual parents. You would expect the writer to be angry with their lackadaisical life style. Just when you think they have hit bottom, something worse comes along. This is a book you can't put down. 11/12/2010
Rated 5 out of 5★ by Excellent book This book was hard to put down and was one of the best books I have ever read. It was hard to believe that the author had endured so many hardships as a young child right here in the United States. The author does an excellent job of telling her story and it is hard to stop thinking about it long after you finish reading her true life story. I would say it is a "must read". 12/07/2009
Rated 5 out of 5★ by Great Memoir! This is such a wonderful book. It is hard to believe the hardships Jeannette Walls has overcome to become the lady she is today. You won't be able to put this book down! It is very touching, one you won't soon forget! 02/25/2010
Rated 5 out of 5★ by The Glass Castles Awesome...totally awesome. It was extremely hard to put down and have been sharing it with everyone I know. 12/01/2009
Rated 5 out of 5★ by Great book, great price! Awesome book, worth reading for anyone. 10/18/2010
Rated 5 out of 5★ by What a story, what a life! This is a true story or so we are told and it doesn't really matter to me one way or the other. It's a fantastic read! Jeanette the narrator goes through her life which is mainly hardships without trying to gain sympathy but more as sharing her story and getting it out in the open. Although, very wealthy, her family grew up in poverty due to parents that were mentally unstable and not capable of giving their children the care they needed. The children raised above their parents faults every time and drew closer to each other until they were able to go out on their own. One could consider that some of this is "creative licensing" but so what? It was still fun to read. I think the only thing that bothered me about the book is that the author didn't take any of the good from her parents (there wasn't much so this would have been difficult) and never showed previous signs of really wanting to escape the philosophy's of her parents but just to escape the physical hardships. Definitely worth your time. 06/03/2008
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