Review: The Glass Castle

glass-castle-cover-imageSearcy (LP) The Glass Castle is a 2005 memoir by Jeannette Walls. The memoir spent a total of 261 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list and is now under development as a film by Lionsgate. By late 2007, The Glass Castle had sold over 2.7 million copies, had been translated into 22 languages, and received the Christopher Award, the American Library Association’s Alex Award (2006) and the Books for Better Living Award.

The book recounts the unconventional, poverty-stricken upbringing Walls and her siblings had at the hands of their deeply dysfunctional parents. It starts off with Jeannette almost burning herself alive. Nice start, right. After getting her back from the hospital days later, her parents still let her cook for herself. Seriously, what is wrong with these people. That’s just the start of horrible things that happen to Jeannette. She’s been bullied, beaten, and molested(on multiple occasions) at different points in her life; and yet she carries on. She was bullied a lot when she was a kid, most notably by a group of girls in school, who would beat her and make fun of her. She eventually made frenemies with her bully, and even began to tutor her.

Then, she had a much easier time in school. She joined the school newspaper, had food to eat, and generally had an all around good time. She was also molested a lot throughout her life: By a random guy at a bar, by her uncle, and others as well. She writes it off at the time, but we see it really hurts her inside. She is also raped by a neighbor though this is only what he claims. She does not understand what happened, turning to the dictionary and her father for answers. He is outraged but does not call the police, for fear of himself being arrested. In conclusion, she has had a hard life, established by the wrongs that had happened to her. Still, she was able to salvage her life and make something great out of it.

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