Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

by Sabrina

"Things usually work out in the end. What if they don't? That just means you haven't come to the end yet."

When I consider the fact that the story I just read is true and really happened to some little girl I feel sorry for her but as I know the story is working out for her and her siblings I find it really entertaining.

Jeannette and her brother Brian and sister Lori are the children to irresponsible parents, the mother a painter and the father a free thinker and alcoholic, who makes up a whole imaginative world for his children in which they are hunting demons, searching for gold and building the glass castle, a construction made of glass in which they wish to live someday.

But one comes not around to say that the parents are neglecting their children, the mother often feels depressed and more than once complains that she is not able to care for her children and by the way nobody ever cares for her. The father, a bad drunkard, does not restrain from taking his children's savings out of the piggy bank to afford his addiction.

It is really bad that although they are the poorest family in their neighborhood the parents don't want to take social welfare benefits because they don't want to be dependent from a system they don't give a shit about. As a consequence the children are much too often put asleep still hungry.

On one hand I think it to be okay when an adult decides to spent his or her life in a way which is not adapted to society but in case of the children someone should have taken responsibility and it's sad that none of the two parents cared enough to do it.

Sometimes I couldn't really believe that Jeannette Wall's childhood memories went back so far in her early years or to put it right that she had so many clear memories even of her three year old self. But maybe a childhood like hers must have been simply impressive.

The book easily can join other books which portrait a hard childhood like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith or Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt, both books I really loved. I think Wall's husband to be right: A person with a past is an interesting one.


  1. You are absolutely right -- when you have kids, sometimes you can't always live life the way you want to. I haven't read this book yet, I don't know why! Thanks for the reminder!!

  2. Great review. I have this book on my reading shelf-I'll have to chaeck it out soon.