The Glass Castle: A Memoir

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The Glass Castle: A Memoir

by Jeannette Walls
Read by Jeannette Walls

Simon & Schuster Audio | September 28, 2010 | Audio Book (CD)

The Glass Castle: A Memoir is rated 4.5891 out of 5 by 202.
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.

Format: Audio Book (CD)

Dimensions: 5.75 × 5.06 × 0.9 in

Published: September 28, 2010

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1442339705

ISBN - 13: 9781442339705

Here is a biography that will quietly take your breath away. The main characters aren't famous, infamous, or doing anything that will remotely change the world. But in every way, and in a beautiful way, this is a story about the very essence of human spirit. The writer, Jeanette Walls, is one of four children brought up by parents who are totally eccentric and often dangerously neglectful. As Walls explains early in the story: "Mom believed that children shouldn't be burdened with rules and restrictions." We experience their growing-up years through the eyes of Jeanette and what an incredibly moving and heartwrenching growing-up it is. While Walls and her siblings aren't abused by their parents in the conventional sense of the word, the constant chaos and upheaval in their everyday lives and the things they had to do to deal with the extreme poverty they faced - rummaging for food in dumpsters was an everyday occurrence - leave the reader wondering how the kids could even begin to survive such ramshackle parenting. Incredibly, three of the four siblings do better than survive. They grow into highly responsible, caring and contributing members of society. Perhaps most touching and inspiring is the gentle love that Walls maintains for both parents - together with a profound sense of acceptance that this is simply the kind of parents she was born to. From the opening paragraphs, when Jeanette, already grown-up, catches sight of her mother living as a homeless person on the street in New York, and through all the events which come before that moment, this is a story which will touch your heart and make you count your blessings, no matter what challenges you face.

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautifully Written Story I had owned this book for over a year and finally decided to read it. I'm so glad I did. I couldn't put this book down. It was so... beautifully written. It was funny, heartwarming, sad, and honest. I was blown away by the strength of the children in this book. They go through so many hardships but always try their best to stay positive. This is now one of my favourite books.
Date published: 2014-04-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Glass Castle: A Memoir I bought this book and read it over a weekend. I loved it!! I fell in love with the children in the story and admire their courage and strength and love for each other. Their survival instincts allow them to endure what most of us would consider a dismal childhood. This book teaches us that there is always a bright side if you take the time to look for it.   
Date published: 2014-02-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Read Some parts of this book were really awful to read, but other parts were very interesting. I liked how she continued the book right up until where she is now; it lets us know that she's overcome everything that's happened in her past and she is still able to lead a fairly normal life.
Date published: 2012-10-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A page turner This book tells the story of how an entire family is able to just make it day by day having a totally irresponsible father. It is truly amazing how they DO provide for themsleves and make it.
Date published: 2012-10-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not A Fave I got this book because it was one of Heathers Pick. I usually don’t go for her book selections because I feel she just goes for the books that are the hype at the moment. However, I was at Chapters and was having a difficult time finding a book so I picked this one. Yes, it is a good book. Yes, it was a page turner. But every story just seemed fake or exaggerated. I kept asking myself “how does she remember so much”? This could have been good read if it were fictional novel. However, since it is a memoir I just kept on questioning whether it was real or not and this was driving me crazy. In the end it felt rushed and I really would not recommend this book to anybody.
Date published: 2012-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this Book This is one of the best autobiographies I have ever read. I've loaned it out to many people and they have all loved it as well. This is such a captivating book and I can't say enough good about it.
Date published: 2012-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from add this to your absolutely have to read list i've read a lot of books lately and they have all been good. since reading this book i would have suffered a loss if i did not read this, because this books the back of the novel does not give you much and i assumed it was another pity story about a horrible and tough childhood. BUT oh was i wrong walls memoir about her childhood is incredibly funny, endearing and heart breaking. i will not say much about what is going on in this book. but PLEASE let this be one of the books you read this year. i guarantee you will enjoy this book as much as every other reader has. the read is easy smooth and she will paint you the clearest picture of her childhood. you can literally picture yourself there with her. i am honestly a life long fan of jeannette's work. i am waiting for a 3rd novel. i hope i don't wait too long. she is a marvelous writer. welcome to the world of walls' family. ENJOY
Date published: 2011-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great read Probably one of the most amazing books I have ever read. Jeanettes story kept me captivated and amazed. Such an amazing woman!
Date published: 2011-10-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Let me start off by saying WOW. This memoir was amazing. Well written to say the least. The perspective of the book starts off from Jeanette(the author), as a grown woman who sees her mom scrimmaging through trash. As many times as she tries to help her mom; the mom doesn’t believe that being homeless is a bad thing. It then goes into detail of Jeanette’s upbringing. Jeanette makes you believe that her and her family were going on adventures when moving from house to house. They were homeless their entire life. When reading, you kind of get the feeling that being homeless wasn’t so bad when they were young. Their homeless condition doesn’t differ as they get older. But Jeanette's perspective does. Having no home was fun when she was young because they would visit so many different places but then when she grows up she realizes the hardships of wearing clean clothes, having enough to eat or even being warm at night. Sleeping in a cardboard box was fun when she was five, but the older she got, the more she realized living homeless was not fun anymore. She had an older sister Lori who knew all along that their lives turned for the worst from the first moment she could speak. She had a younger brother Brian who always kept his head up and followed Jeanette’s lead in their hunts and games and was always there to protect Jeanette and vice versa. They had a younger sister who was born into poverty and had to resort to making pretend friends. These kids used to idolize their father. He promised a Glass Castle but never fell through. He couldn’t keep a job and had no money to support his family. He was a drunk and would disappear for days at a time near the end. Jeanette’s best friend was her dad, but near the end of the book, she didn’t even know who he was anymore. Jeanette grew up and learned the responsibility of saving her own money to get out of the life she was living. She moved and got her own place and job. I don’t want to ruin it all the events even though I kind of did. I would definitely recommend this book. It is very insightful to a life of homeless people and how they can easily turn things around if they really tried. Some people though choose to be homeless.
Date published: 2011-10-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Enjoyable - Easy Reading Extremely enjoyable memoir - very thought provoking and lessons learned from their parents eventual homeless lifestyle. Would recommend this book to anyone that thinks all homelsess people are lazy, ruthless, and not very intelligent. These people knew had to make the best of any good or bad situation they were in.
Date published: 2011-07-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Slow read but a good one After hearing so much about this must book, I finally had to go out and buy it. It was a good read and many times you forget that your reading a memoir. I did find the book to be a slow read which I wasn't expecting. I think it was a slow read because you forget your reading a true story. What you do get from the book is no matter how bad your situation is one can survive and turn their life around if you want too.
Date published: 2011-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Memoir! I absolutely loved this book! I really had no idea what this book was about when I bought it. I chose to purchase it because I had heard from several different people that it was good and it was one of Heather's Picks at Chapters. I was not let down. This book had me interested from the first page. The characters in the book are so well developed that you feel you know them and can't help but route for them. You are constantly wondering what quirky things they will do next and what is going to happen. The Glass Castle is one of the most interesting memoirs I have ever picked up. It is well written and kept me interested until the last page. After finishing this novel I cannot wait to read Half Broke Horses, Jeanette Walls' second novel.
Date published: 2011-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic book My friend had been urging me to read this book for a few years but I never got into it. Finally, I caved and started reading. From the first few pages to the end, I absolutely could not put the book down. The author manages to make you feel you've known the characters for your whole life.
Date published: 2011-07-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must read! After reading the first few pages you will be hooked. Funny and sad, intriguing, yet inspiring...I loved every bit of this book!
Date published: 2011-06-20
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Didn't like this I just couldn't get into this book. I tried but it just didn't appeal to me. I found it to be very whiny and somewhat self pitying. I know other people really enjoyed it but it wasn't for me.
Date published: 2011-05-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Addictive I read this book in just a few days. It was impossible to put down and written with such blunt honesty that it was addictive. I was a little dissapointed with the end but not because it was so different from the rest of the book but just because the book was ending. I look forward to more from this author.
Date published: 2011-04-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Glass Castle Enjoyed reading this book while on a long flight. Would highly recommend it if you enjoy reading about people and dofferent lifestyles.
Date published: 2010-12-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unexpected This book has been sitting on my shelf for a while now, and I kept postponing reading it because I don't usually like memoirs. Well, I should have picked it up sooner, it is a heart-wrenching story, but uplifting and incredible. The strength that these kids show despite their "excentric" parents is amazing. It's an inspiring story.
Date published: 2010-11-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful & touching Beautiful autobiography written without hype. Its simple and touching. What an interesting life!! I hope everyone reads this book.
Date published: 2010-10-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Phenomenal! I picked up this book looking for something other than fiction to read. I was a little hesitant as I usually don't read memoirs, but I had heard such good things I had to read it for myself and I am so glad I did. This book is among some of the best I have ever read. I recommend it to anyone who loves a good read and I can't say enough lood things about it. I wish Walls would write more novels. Her style of writing is a breath of fresh air!
Date published: 2010-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Amazing story Usually I don't read memoirs but this novel was too good to pass up. I felt I was standing beside the family watching Wells life unfold in front of me. I wish there was more, I could have read this for days! Instead I finished it in one and a half.
Date published: 2010-09-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not what I expected 4.5 stars This is Jeanette’s autobiography. She looks back on life with her oddball, quirky family. A family where Dad was often drunk, they rarely had enough money (and often no food to eat), as Dad usually spent it on booze, Mom just sort of went with the flow, plus there were three other siblings. They moved a lot, usually in a car that could barely make it, and they sometimes lived in the car, but everything was made out to be an adventure. The kids were often left to their own devices. Jeanette was her dad’s favourite, and you could tell they loved each other, despite some of the things her father did. The book really wasn’t what I expected. Her parents tended to put a positive spin on things, even when bad things happened. I didn’t expect it to be like that. You could tell there was love there, even through everything.
Date published: 2010-08-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from heartwrenching What a truly brave narration of a litle girl's hope for the future with her dysfunctional family, and her need to disconnect as a young adult in order to pull herself out. Brilliant. A great lesson on the mindset of the homeless with addictions.
Date published: 2010-07-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting read If you liked this you would love Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown
Date published: 2010-06-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really got to me...... This book grabbed me and didn't let me go until the end.... highly recommend it!!
Date published: 2010-05-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read! This book was intriguing..... While reading it I often had to remind myself that it was a memoir. It is an interesting peak into the way that people can justify endangering their children and how resilient people, no matter how young, can be. While reading it I could definitely put it down and come back to it - it was not a "I can't put it down" type of book like I found, say "Still Alice", but it was a great story that kept me interested throughout!
Date published: 2010-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Insanely shocking What shocked me the most about the book “The Glass Castle” is the fact that it is a memoir. I kept saying to myself, there is NO WAY there are people in the United States who lived/live like this. This is the story of the author Jeannette Walls, her Mom, Dad and her three siblings. The story starts with her 3-year-old self cooking hotdogs on the stove and sustaining 3 degree burns that left her scarred for life which goes to show the degree of negligence she was living with. What does she do when she goes home? She gets hungry and starts cooking hot dogs with her parents cheering her on and telling her , way to go kid, this is how you should face your fears. With a very intelligent alcoholic father that taught his kids everything they knew who unfortunately always spent the family money on booze and only thought of his next drink. And a mother who failed to grow up and refused to face reality the story still manages to be a story of triumph and success. As sad as her childhood was , no food for days on end, living in the desert because they had no place to stay, walking for miles when their car broke down on the highway, living in a home with no heat. electricity or is some cases even stairs to go into the house, they had to climb through a window to get in , I found myself unable to hate her parents who are without doubt the reason of this families trials. Jeannette managed to write a powerful memoir that made you understand the weakness and limitations of some humans, you could be the most intelligent and loving father but still fail to provide and protect your family because of reasons beyond your control. I absolutely enjoyed the book, it opened my eyes to a new world I thought never existed. If I could take only one message from this book it is no matter what difficulties you face in life if you are smart and determined you will always succeed. I give it the 2 thumbs up
Date published: 2010-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Could not put it down! This is the first memoir I have read, and it was very gripping and well written. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2010-04-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED IT!! This author gives an amazing voice to her writing. I was brought to tears, made to laugh out loud, and found myself cursing in frustration and anger while reading this book. I found myself thinking of it constantly and spending the day at work looking forward to getting home and reading more. I will definately read this author and this book again.
Date published: 2010-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love, love, love this book! Absolutely one of the best books I have read. The author leaves the reader in awe of how tumultuous one little girl's life can be and how her resilience lead her to become the strong woman she is today. The book will leave you laughing, crying and everything in between.
Date published: 2010-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! 10 out of 10. The perfect combination of an extraordinary life and a phenomenal writer. I'm sure many people have great stories, but to be able to tell them the way Walls does makes an exceptional book!!
Date published: 2010-03-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Weirder than Fiction! This book read like a novel it was that outlandish. I LOVED it. Her descriptions and play with words were wonderful and unique.
Date published: 2010-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great! I loved this book! I really admire the author. I wanted to give the parents a good smack. I was amazed at the authors ability to accept and forgive her parents. I don't know if I have the heart she does... I'd have ended up a hopless case.
Date published: 2010-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! You can't imagine that this is a true story. After reading it, I'm amazed by how mature Lisa & Jeannette are, so as Brian....I guess the early childhood of their interest in reading and hardshship nurtures them to who they are today. This is not just a novel, it also gives inspiration to prarenthood, life values, etc.
Date published: 2010-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is the book you tell everyone to read! Hard to believe that this based on her life...that this stuff really happened! This was a book club read and I could not put it down. Jeanette Wells does an amazing job writting about a difficult childhood but in a way that doesn't leave you depressed but hopeful! Can't wait to read her new book!
Date published: 2010-01-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from It's ok. Can be frustrating and depressing as the author describes how wretched the families' living situation was like. Living conditions where barely tolerable.
Date published: 2010-01-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from fantastic What a great read! So many emotions throughout this book, I wanted to cry for the children and got so mad at these parents, but smiled for the love this disfunctional family had for each other. Highly recommend.
Date published: 2009-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Makes you appreciate what YOU have It really made me open my eyes and appreciate all the little things in life. It makes aware of how resilient people are and how they can adapt to many different situations to make it work for them. Jeannette Walls = My new favourite author!
Date published: 2009-12-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Sorry but... I hate to disagree with most of you but I just didn't like this book at all. I thought it was far fetched...a long read which I ended up scanning most of the time. Had only a few of tge things happened, but not all that in one lifetime. It was nice she had the kids turn out ok but that too would probably not happen,..
Date published: 2009-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning! One of those stories you would not believe unless someone who had lived it told it in such a stunning style. I'm just amazed how long it took me to find this book.
Date published: 2009-11-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really interesting I loved this book, I really like nonfiction and this is the true story of a dysfunctional family. Get it.
Date published: 2009-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing I Recomend this book to a lot of people everyday
Date published: 2009-11-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from WOW A moving account of the authors childhood. It made me laugh & sigh at the same time in saddness for the young children & how they coped under such circumstance.
Date published: 2009-11-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unbelievable An eye-opening story to an alternative lifestyle ... makes you appreciate what you have in life.
Date published: 2009-09-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from awesome This novel is amazingly witty and clever and all around entertaining. I would like to comment that with all these outrageously revealing memoir type novels being released, it is evident that these parents should be charged with neglect after the fact.. Such a great read, so sad that its true.
Date published: 2009-08-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from just must be read! This book really makes you see how normal you are. I've lent it to so many of my friends. They all fell normal now too. I felt really bad laughing but it was so cruelly entertaining. Thanks Jeanette.
Date published: 2009-08-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW All I want to say is "wow, what a story" The thing with this incredible story was that it is non-fiction. This is one book that you'll want to share with friends and family!
Date published: 2009-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A surprising good read. I recieved this book from my Husband for my birthday. I was a little hesitant at first as I tend to stick with the same authors. This book was a pleasant surprise. After I finished reading it, I had to tell everyone about it. The strength and tenacity that Jeannette describes is amazing.
Date published: 2009-08-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A moving story about hard work and getting through tough times, tougher than you can imagine. I have read this book twice and plan to read it again. I was truly inspired by the fact that this is based on the life of the author, and I was moved by the fact that she was able to work hard and make something of herself. Sometimes when people are down on their luck, they have no place to go and no amount of help will really sustain them; at that point, you have to take matters into your own hands. There were some events in the story that related to my own life in a way, and it was tough to read that and be reminded of those times, but I believe that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. It was a very sad story, but as with "A Thousand Splendid Suns", it told the story of perseverance.
Date published: 2009-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read! The Glass Castle is an exciting, heart-warming adventure. It gave me an insight of how some chose to live their lives. How even in the deepest ditch a person finds themselves trapped in—though the possibilities of escaping are limited—a person can use their resources to pull themselves out, shake off the muddy mess and start anew. The most interesting character in this book I found was the author herself. As her mother said it, Jeannette Walls “always worked hard.” Along with her siblings she had passed through the obstacles and grief, and rose by her accomplishments to a clear and loving life that she now lives in the present. She definitely stuck by her troubled-father and loved him immensely till the end. This is one of those books where when I finish it, I close it and after having sat still for a moment pondering about the book quietly to myself, I pick it back up and flip to my favourite parts of the novel to relive the story once more. I admire Jeannette Walls for writing this book about her incredible past and enlightening readers of what she had to endure to get to where she is now. It’s simply extraordinary.
Date published: 2009-06-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting read A classic story about not judging a book by its cover. This book dives into the topic of living below the poverty line. A heartwarming story about the things that hold and tear families apart.
Date published: 2009-04-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Glass Castle: Trully inspiring! The Glass Castle Review by: Monica Polan Once upon a time there was a little girl named Jeanette Walls who grew up with a free-spirited, un-nurturing mother, an alcoholic father and 3 siblings who helped each other to stay alive and took care of each other. They endured many hardships and struggles everywhere they went and once old enough, they were able to move to New York and lead normal lives while they’re parents begged for money on the streets and they all live happily ever after. Unfortunately, not all stories are fairy tales with happy endings and as you can see, The Glass Castle was definitely no fairy tale and that is made this book so outstanding. Jeanette Walls was born to a pair of extremely unique parents who didn’t take their parenting roles very seriously. They were always looking out for themselves and not for the needs and wants of their children. Therefore, Jeanette and her siblings needed to learn to grow up fast in order to take care of themselves and each other. They moved from place to place always with little or no money and no one but each other to count on. The best part of this book is that it truly makes you sit back and say “Wow, I thought I had it bad”. Even though life for the Walls children was hard, they handled every situation with dignity and strength which I admired tremendously. What I, and most other readers enjoyed most about this novel was that it wasn’t just a plain, boring biography with dates and facts; it was an inspirational story that made us look at our lives in a completely different light. It makes us appreciate the good things in life and teaches us so many very important lessons. One very important lesson that this book has taught me is that it’s the struggles we go through in life that end up making us better, stronger people who can achieve great things. Jeannette, the author and narrator of The Glass Castle, lived through the most traumatic and heart breaking experiences. However, it was her life experiences that gave her the strength to go after what she really wanted and become extremely successful. This book shows us that if she can rise from the bottom and become a happy, successful woman then we can all achieve greatness as well. All in all, The Glass Castle is an astonishing and thought provoking novel that hooks you in and you are never able to let go of it. It will make you appreciate life in all it’s misery and glory and make you realize that no ones leads a “normal” or “perfect” life and it’s up to you whether you want to make the best of what life has given you or not.
Date published: 2009-04-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Glass Castle: Trully inspiring! The Glass Castle Review by: Monica Polan Once upon a time there was a little girl named Jeanette Walls who grew up with a free-spirited, un-nurturing mother, an alcoholic father and 3 siblings who helped each other to stay alive and took care of each other. They endured many hardships and struggles everywhere they went and once old enough, they were able to move to New York and lead normal lives while they’re parents begged for money on the streets and they all live happily ever after. Unfortunately, not all stories are fairy tales with happy endings and as you can see, The Glass Castle was definitely no fairy tale and that is made this book so outstanding. Jeanette Walls was born to a pair of extremely unique parents who didn’t take their parenting roles very seriously. They were always looking out for themselves and not for the needs and wants of their children. Therefore, Jeanette and her siblings needed to learn to grow up fast in order to take care of themselves and each other. They moved from place to place always with little or no money and no one but each other to count on. The best part of this book is that it truly makes you sit back and say “Wow, I thought I had it bad”. Even though life for the Walls children was hard, they handled every situation with dignity and strength which I admired tremendously. What I, and most other readers enjoyed most about this novel was that it wasn’t just a plain, boring biography with dates and facts; it was an inspirational story that made us look at our lives in a completely different light. It makes us appreciate the good things in life and teaches us so many very important lessons. One very important lesson that this book has taught me is that it’s the struggles we go through in life that end up making us better, stronger people who can achieve great things. Jeannette, the author and narrator of The Glass Castle, lived through the most traumatic and heart breaking experiences. However, it was her life experiences that gave her the strength to go after what she really wanted and become extremely successful. This book shows us that if she can rise from the bottom and become a happy, successful woman then we can all achieve greatness as well. All in all, The Glass Castle is an astonishing and thought provoking novel that hooks you in and you are never able to let go of it. It will make you appreciate life in all it’s misery and glory and make you realize that no ones leads a “normal” or “perfect” life and it’s up to you whether you want to make the best of what life has given you or not.
Date published: 2009-04-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from a must read This is a different book then what I would normaly read but it was still a great book in a really messed up way. They family is so close and yet for far away at the same time. They have reay problems but they always stick together. It is defintly a book worth reading and will make your family look normal.
Date published: 2009-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from stunning! When I bought this book, it was only because it was cheap and I needed it to qualify for my free shipping-little did I know-it turned out to be one of the best books i have ever read. The familes struggles to deal with poverty and mental illness are so real, you can almost feel their struggls of just surviving every day life. It is a fast read and you simply will not be able to put it down, you will laugh and cry with the characters and empathize with the children who are dealing with the mental illnesses, however it displayes the love of family through thick and thin. Would highly recommend this book to any reader on any level!
Date published: 2009-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read! This book was really well written! I had a very hard time putting it down. I could not believe that someone lived through that childhood and made something of themself!
Date published: 2009-04-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it I read this about two years ago so I cannot go into to much detail. However, I do remember reading this in less than a day because I could not put this book down. It goes to show how everyones families is very complex and secretive behind closed doors.
Date published: 2009-02-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Stranger Than Fiction As I started reading this memoir of a young woman from a dysfunctional, low-income family, there were a few events that I could not believe were true because they were so bizarre. I thought it must be fiction. The Walls family story is intriguing and sad at the same time. You see how her parents could end up homeless after their lifetime of doing the "skedaddle" when trouble would arise. The kids looked after each other. They were incredibly resilient and most of them weren't marred for life. I could understand her shame about her family and circumstances, but she rose above it. The surprising thing was that at the end of the book, I was kind of sad it was over. There was never a dull moment and the book made me laugh more than a few times. I felt angry and frustrated with her father when he was drunk and would do stupid things, like steal the childrens' money that they had been saving for months, so they could move away from home. But the parents each had a few redeeming qualities in spite of the fact that they had no qualms about letting their children go hungry while they fed their own addictions.
Date published: 2009-02-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Funny ~ in a weird sort of way... A great read ~ the author keeps this story going well. I found myself laughing out loud at the description this child used to describe her childhood. Sure, she had a neglected and unconventional upbringing ~ but it was refreshing to read how thsi child managed to find the positive in her parents and still be proud of it. She seemed to admire her parents for sticking to their individuality... refreshing in a time when many find it easier to hate and despise the errors of their parent's ways... Yes, she endured hard times ~ but she managed to present her family in a refreshing and humoristic manner... Thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Date published: 2009-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Will make you laugh, cry and everything in between! I had to read this for English class last year, and at first I was unsure. However, as soon as I started reading i could not put it down. It was simply amazing. The characters are raw and interesting. You will love and hate them. It was a colorful read, and contradicted itself : being both full of imagination and the harsh realities of life. It was amazing and did not disapoint!
Date published: 2009-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gripping Memoir This is the sad, somewhat disturbing, but inspiring memoir of the author growing up in poverty and the extreme neglect inflicted on her and her 3 siblings by their parents. The book details the abuse that Jeannette and her siblings went through because of their parents' outright neglect and her father's alcohol addiction. Although they were not physically or sexually abused by their parents the complete lack of parenting results in the children repetitively being put into situations where they are vunerable to the abuse of other people. It is a difficult subject matter but definitely a book that should be read. One thing that really stood out for me is the bullying the kids faced from their peers. If nothing else, this book proves that anyone can overcome their childhood and become a successful adult if they do not give up.
Date published: 2009-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating and Disturbing This book absolutely had me addicted. I was equally disturbed and afraid everytime I turned the page not knowing what was to happen next! The quality of the story telling is superb and doesn't attempt to analyze, just to report. A very satisfying read. My only complaint was the ending seemed a bit abrupt. You won't be disappointed.
Date published: 2008-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Do you love him or hate him? This book was fabulous. My favorite part of the book was Jeanette's dad. Throughout the entire book you flip flop between loving him and hating him: I loved him when he gave Jeannette her planet, hated him when he let her go upstairs with that man in the bar...So far, it is my favorite book! - So "do the skedattle" and get the book!
Date published: 2008-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Biography! Jeanette Walls, is one of four children brought up by parents who are more often than not dangerously neglectful ( putting all four children in the back of a U-Haul truck for a 16 hour drive with no light or means of communication...with a newborn baby) and who think that children shouldn't be burdened with rules and restrictions. The incredible detail Wall provides paints images in your mind that are truly shocking by today's standards of raising children. I don't understand how she is able to recall such early memories in vivid detail and how she does this with such an immense love for her parents after all they have put her through. This is a heart wrenching story that shows you in spite of how difficult and challenging life can be, the human spirit can overcome great obstacles.
Date published: 2008-12-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Warm and inspiring Just another memoir to reiterate the fact that not everyone should be allowed to have children, and that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Kudos to Jeannette Walls for having such a strong spirit and finding her way through a labyrinth dictated by alcoholism and mental illness. www.booksnakereviews.blogspot.com
Date published: 2008-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sad but moving I had this book for a few weeks before I actually read it. I figured since it was a bestseller, it had to be fantastic. I was moved by the main character's strength, even during the most disturbing occurences. A great read for anyone.
Date published: 2008-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An excellent read! This book pulled me in like a magnet from the very first page and would not let me go. It's the story of an extraordinary life that is so well-written, it reads like great fiction. I recommend this book to everyone!
Date published: 2008-11-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A book I love and hate! Jeannette Walls writes a poignant story about her family life in the US with an alcoholic father, a spoiled and lazy mother and 3 siblings who work to overcome their parents and their circumstances. At points in the book, I've yelled at the parents, had tears in my eyes for the disappointments, and laughed at the children's antics. I shudder to think there are more kids in this type of situation - those that have able-bodied parents and have the means of caring for themselves and their children but not only refuse to do so, but actually put their children in such dangerous and compromising situations. The fact that Jeannette has any self-esteem at all is a wonder. A beautifully written book, but one true story that I hope doesn't ever repeat itself."
Date published: 2008-10-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Astonishing Read We read the Glass Castle for our book club meeting last month & we had a great discussion on the parents and the resiliency of children & how - no matter what - families stick together. The Glass Castle title shows how the Dad was trying to attain something that was not there - but gave magic ideas to the children when young - but also being inside a glass castle - one can be seen & see those that surround you... Good Read - enjoy
Date published: 2008-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful book! I found this book to be very poignant and realistic of life's hardships that most people never have to go through, fortunately. It made me stop and appreciate all that I have in my life and not take the small things for granted. Ms. Walls does an unbelievable job of telling it like it was..... which was unbelievable for today's society. Everyone should definitely read this book!
Date published: 2008-09-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This book should be mandatory reading for school teachers. The author shares her life story in this well written and captivating book. Her childhood was dominated by an alcoholic father and a mentally unstable mother. As a result, the author and her siblings lived a transient life with great poverty. In spite of all the sadness and shock of this book, the reader is left ultimately hopeful. It shows how by sheer intelligence and personal resolve, the author was able to forge a new life for herself. This book is very much in the spirit of Angela's Ashes and yet its setting is definitively American and much more recent. All adults could learn from this book, because It shows how poverty can affect children's behaviour and appearance. A definite must read for anyone who works with children.
Date published: 2008-08-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So Good! This was such a good book. I could barely put it down. I literally stayed up all night reading it because I wanted to know what was going to happen with Jeanette and her family. I recommend this book to anyone. Such a great read!
Date published: 2008-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful, Wonderful! My elderly Mom was given The Glass Castle in an audio book. Mom lives a distance from me and every second weekend I drive to visit her and the total trip is 300 km. I borrowed this audio book and listened to it over a few weeks while driving. Wow, what an experience. Not only is the book totally captivating, having it "read" to me was amazing. Buy this book - a Number One pick for sure!
Date published: 2008-07-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from So-so I read this book for a book club. I found it quite uninspired and very matter-of-fact. Although no-one can deny her tragic life, the book to me read like a list of events that led up to the final pages. It wasn't a terrible read, but it did not grab my attention and, in fact, I ended up skimming through much of the book. To me, a gripping book must have emotion among other things. This book was written in a very detached, matter-of-fact manner with little description beyond what was necessary. This may have been intentional, but it did not pique my curiosity to learn more. I was quite disappointed; I had been expecting something a little differently-told.
Date published: 2008-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A new favourite! I truly enjoyed Jeannette Walls memoir--such dysfunction but spellbinding to read. It makes one reflect on their own childhood and appreciate what they have in life.
Date published: 2008-07-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my most favourite reads ever Based this on to my 73 year old father and my 21 year old daughter and they too could not put it down either. Even though this is a story of growing up in poverty with bad parents I didn't feel like it was a dark dark story.
Date published: 2008-05-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A book I won't forget! It takes a strong person to be able to write a story about their life and not have the reader feeling pity. Jeannette Wells tell about growing up in a dysfunctional, but loyal family. I was hooked from the first page! A must read!
Date published: 2008-05-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down I thought I wasn't going to enjoy this book, when after 50 pages Walls was recounting stories from her life when she was toddler with vivid detail. I thought it was inconceivable that a 3 year old could remember events with so realistically. Half way through the book I couldn't put it down. One of my favourite memoirs since Angela's Ashes
Date published: 2008-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A favourite! This is now one of my favourite books! It was so hard to believe that this was a true story and what the author had to overcome in her childhood. Kudos to Ms. Walls for such a memorable and captivating memoir!
Date published: 2008-05-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous! My mom lent me the book, and I started reading it to appease her. I was pleasantly surprised and found that I had a hard time putting the book down. I love the way that Walls writes - in the beginning from the point of view of a child, because she is one; however her language and writing style matures as she does in the book. The Glass Castle is a real eye-opener, and a must read!
Date published: 2008-05-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favorites! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Didn't want to put it down and buzzed through the pages. I found it amazing how people grow up in all different walks of life and still manage to over-come tragedies and life experiences so positively. I truly great read!
Date published: 2008-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favorite loved this book and it was one of my favorite books. It's like you van actually feel what she's going through she had a good and bad life the book had great storeys like the first one when she is 3 and she lites her dress on fire and becomes scared for the rest of her life and the last one were she is sitting down at a table with her family and 2 husband and how different her life has changed of the book and I really think anyone in the world would love to read this book!
Date published: 2008-04-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING This book was soooo good! It is one of those books that you can not put down. It is absolutly astonishing to think of the things that this family has gone through, and the love that the siblings have for one another throughout all of this. However, I think that the thing that makes this book so good is the fact that your thinking "oh my gosh, I can't beleive this really happened" If this book was a fiction then I don't think it would have been so good. I am usually not into memoir type books, however this book has changed my mind. I would definatly recommend this book.
Date published: 2008-04-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Remarkable!! This is the first memoir I have ever read, I picked it up for the "Heather's Pick" sticker on it. It was incredibly well written and well told, the childhood that these children experienced was at times unbelievable, yet the love they have for each other is quite obvious and at times uplifting. I highly recommend this book, the story will stay with you forever.
Date published: 2008-04-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from new favorite This book was wonderful.. I have recommended it to all of my family, who have now all read it. It was the best book I have read in years, and will enjoy reading again one day.
Date published: 2008-04-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent Very well written; a quick read and kept good pace.
Date published: 2008-04-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What A Life!!!! What an awfully tough life Jeanette Walls and her sibilings have had, but somehow they managed to rise above it and live normal lives. I can't even begin to imagine a life like hers. This book was really good, although I did find it really sad and at times I found myself getting very angry at their situation and her parents.
Date published: 2008-03-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So happy I read this book I really loved this book because I can still remember what I got out of it and it's been 8 months since I read it. Great story, one that I will never forget. I will definetly read this one again.
Date published: 2008-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing story This book is a story of childhood memories. It is emotional, enthralling and realistic. It drawa on the love children have for their parents. It is a story of acceptance and resilience. I couldn't put it down. I cried in places and laughed in others! I highly recommend it!
Date published: 2008-02-12
Rated out of 5 by from Powerful Memoir The Glass Castle is one of the most unique and memorable memoirs I’ve ever read. The book follows Jeannette Walls through her incredibly dysfunctional childhood with her parents and siblings. Some moments were strangely beautiful, like when Jeannette’s father let the children pick their own star in the sky as a Christmas gift, but most moments left me saddened and horrified. It’s very moving to think of where Jeannette came from and where she is today in life. I have so much respect for her. The Glass Castle is a truly touching example of the inner strength and resilience of the human spirit. I was inspired by the hardships that were overcome in this book by children at such young ages. I can't recommend this book strongly enough!!
Date published: 2008-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome story, incredible read! I thank Jeannette Walls for sharing her story. She's an incredible person who grew up to be so much despite all the obstacles - some like you would never imagine - of her childhood. She tells her story with love and respect, nothing close to pity. This story has definitely stayed in my thoughts. Makes you really appreciate the basic material things we tend to take for granted - plenty of good food, warm reasonably stable homes, warm showers......... Should be read by everyone.
Date published: 2008-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Book What an amazing life, this one makes you think about it for weeks afterwards! A great read.
Date published: 2008-02-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very moving. This poignant account of one woman's painful childhood is beautifully written and compelling. The author's courage and determination are evident. I highly recommend this book.
Date published: 2008-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best books in my whole life! For quite some time I'd been searching for a book that would really grab my attention. I'd been searching for one of those unforgettable books -- well, I definitely found what I want in The Glass Castle. I devoured the pages and yet I didn't want it to ever end. Amazing story! Remarkable people!
Date published: 2008-02-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommended I was so affected by this book that I bought it for my sister. WALLS' candid description of her childhood left me enfuriated with her parents at times and charmed by them others. WALLS gives you all of it, without judgement or superiority. She is a remarkable woman to have overcome the obstacles she faced and we are very lucky that she has chosen to share her story.
Date published: 2008-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Bitter-Sweet Memories The bitter-sweet childhood memories of a well established business woman make us realize how lucky we are if we have food, shelter and a supporting family around us. I enjoyed the author's sparkling style and wit, and admired her never ending admiration towards her father.
Date published: 2008-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It brings a human face to poverty and human imperfection In this book, the writer expresses a highly personal story about a "far from ideal" childhood...that includes "far from ideal" parents. Even though all parents understand that there is a certain kind of pain that they experience as their children grow up and forge their own lives, this book shows us that even parents that would be considered to be "terrible parents" by the standards of "normal" society, also experience this pain. It is an incredible story of children surviving very difficult situations. At times, these situations are expressed with a kind of sardonic humor and this is one of the gifts that this writer gives to her readers. She brings us wisdom and even smiles, in spite of how horrible the situations are. We can experience this because we can see that human imperfections come into play in these situations. Anyone who has experienced poverty will see themselves in this book and those who have not, will have a real taste of how it might feel. It brings a human face to poverty issues and is a very courageous book.
Date published: 2008-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thought provoking This book was on the reading list for the book club I belong to. The story captured me from the very first paragraph when Jeannette saw her mother digging through a dumpster. I was amazed at the matter of fact attitude she had as a child . It also raises the question of how can a child brought up in that environment become a success when so many would have become a product of their environment. Another interesting topic brought up at our meeting was whether it was all true. We believe it is as Jeannette remembers it , however, we discussed that possibly each of her siblings might see their childhood differently. This was a story I couldn't put down and could not stop thinking about, even now, a month later. Ms Walls has my respect and admiration.
Date published: 2008-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I will definately be recommending this book to others.
Date published: 2008-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from inspiring The thing that strikes you most about this book is the fact that there is no self- pitty displayed by the auther. She finds away to appreciate her childhood and find the gold nuggets rather then blame her parents and to allow any past hardships to clowd her future.
Date published: 2008-01-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Compelling read Like many others, I'm sure, I had to keep reminding myself that this is not fiction. Walls writes with a crystal clarity that takes the reader deep into her world. And what a world! I kept wanting to flinch from some of the harrowing experiences she endured, and to feel sorry for her. But her presentation makes it clear this is not a "poor me" narrative. Always we see the love, the hope, dreams, and acceptance that shaped who she is. It taught me that our lives are what they are. We can moan and cry over all the bad, or rejoice and look forward.
Date published: 2008-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great journey of a life This is a quirky yet endearing read. It captures a womens's story of living in poverty and how she strived to succeed in a less than ideal upbringing. It really demonstrates the growth of the spirit with life's poundings. It really captures the relationship with our parents, how they let us down, but how our hearts find forgiveness.
Date published: 2008-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Another book that I could not put down! I kept checking the back to make sure it really was an autobiography! Heart wrenching!
Date published: 2008-01-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Compelling This is a great read. Sometimes it's hard to believe that it's autobiographical. How could one person live through so much to become a functioning adult? Walls conveys so well the positive spirit that dwells inside messed up people, which, really, is the answer to my question. She does this without sentimentality and with just enough irony.
Date published: 2008-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read!!! fab!! No matter what kind of books you usually like reading, you will love this book. Refreshingly smart, witty and easy to read. Loved it!!
Date published: 2008-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Didn't put it down! This memoir was brutally honest yet very touching. The hardships the children dealt with have only made them better in their adult lives. There were parts where I was giggling to myself because she talks about things we've all done when we were little, but then there were parts that made you really appreciate all that we have.
Date published: 2008-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring! This book is a true story written by the author about her childhood with dysfunctional parents. It is heartbreaking but also inspiring to everyone who reads it.
Date published: 2008-01-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This book will make you appreciate the spiral of addiction as well as your own family I really enjoyed this book. I had been looking forward to reading it for quite some time, and I was not disappointed in the least. The prose is very simple and straight forward. This is not fancy writing in terms of word usage, but simple and direct. Ideal wording for such a troubled story - the words do not obscure the story at all. Jeannette Walls tells a fascinating story beginning in her younger years. The memoir begins with glimmers of hope and steadily gets darker before coming out into the light again. Like the review says, you will be amazed at the resilience of the children involved. I also looked at my own family story with much more compassion afterward, and relief that my own life had a much easier beginning! I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a hard luck story with a redemptive ending. At the same time, the book still ends with a bittersweet tone. I cried! I admit it. Then I called my family members to tell them I loved 'em. :) Enjoy!
Date published: 2007-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible!! Wall's story is unbelievably touching,laugh out loud funny and beautifully written. Pick this one up!! There is no way you will regret it...
Date published: 2007-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Growing up Jeannette Walls wrote this memoir not for pity, but because she felt that she was lying to everyone she knew if she didn't explain where she came from. Her parents, who refuse to "conform" to society's norms, choose to live in poverty with their four children instead of using their intellect to find jobs teaching to support the family. In no way is this meant to hurt her parents or is self pitying. Instead, it is honest and heart felt. A great read for those who love true, somewhat twisted, real life stories.
Date published: 2007-10-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unbelievable!!! A friend recommended this book to me, and I was thankful that I bought it just after reading the first couple of pages. I couldn't believe what these kids went through, and yet had made something of themselves. A truly inspiring story that makes you appreciate everything you have in life. I have recommended this book to everyone I know.
Date published: 2007-10-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great read! this book was inspiring. after all jeannette had been through in her childhood, it makes anything seem possible!
Date published: 2007-10-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book The life and survival of the Walls family
Date published: 2007-10-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Book That Demands to be Read I’ve always been leery of memoirs for the simple fact that the way things happened isn’t always the way they are remembered. Memory is a shady thing…coloured by so many things in our journey to adulthood that we often mistake what was felt for what was real. Jeanenette Walls is no James Frey but you can’t help but think that a lot of the horror that occurs in the Glass Castle have been coloured somewhat by that precarious thing called memory. That being said, her book is a rapturous read that delights, horrifies, and devastates at every turn. I found myself sobbing at some parts even though Walls does not sentimentalize her experiences. She herself seems unaware that the abuse she is suffering is even abuse. How could this be one person’s life, you wonder. Most of us can remember a thing or two that was done to us, or done around us, by the people who were in charge of our care, but the Walls parents seem like alien creatures completely unaware of the simplest needs of a human being. I’m still deciding how I feel about this book. It may take months or even years to come to any conclusions. But it is a book that from the first sentence, demands to be read.
Date published: 2007-10-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from wow, just wow A really good read. there was so many things that made me think "What the heck?" I would certainly love to hear more about the siblings as well.
Date published: 2007-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Story about the Very Essence of Human Spirit Here is a biography that will quietly take your breath away. The main characters aren't famous, infamous, or doing anything that will remotely change the world. But in every way, and in a beautiful way, this is a story about the very essence of human spirit. The writer, Jeanette Walls, is one of four children brought up by parents who are totally eccentric and often dangerously neglectful. As Walls explains early in the story: "Mom believed that children shouldn't be burdened with rules and restrictions." We experience their growing-up years through the eyes of Jeanette and what an incredibly moving and heartwrenching growing-up it is. While Walls and her siblings aren't abused by their parents in the conventional sense of the word, the constant chaos and upheaval in their everyday lives and the things they had to do to deal with the extreme poverty they faced - rummaging for food in dumpsters was an everyday occurrence - leave the reader wondering how the kids could even begin to survive such ramshackle parenting. Incredibly, three of the four siblings do better than survive. They grow into highly responsible, caring and contributing members of society. Perhaps most touching and inspiring is the gentle love that Walls maintains for both parents - together with a profound sense of acceptance that this is simply the kind of parents she was born to. From the opening paragraphs, when Jeanette, already grown-up, catches sight of her mother living as a homeless person on the street in New York, and through all the events which come before that moment, this is a story which will touch your heart and make you count your blessings, no matter what challenges you face.
Date published: 2007-09-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from stunning, heartening, a great read! This book was recommended to me by a friend and I greatly enjoyed it. I found myself stunned by what she had to endure and what became "normal" to her, yet she has survived and her experience has made her stronger. What a read! I found myself putting it down because "I" couldn't take it anymore! Her life, I mean, not the book. Great read. buy it. borrow it. read it.
Date published: 2007-08-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Great Wonderful book, very easy read. Grabs your attention and does not let go until you are finished.
Date published: 2007-08-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My New Fav!!!! This book blew my away. I have never read a memoir before and was so shocked by this one. It is beautifully written and has left me wanting to hear more of Jeanette's story, or even a memoir by one of her siblings to hear the same story through a different lens. I highly recommend this book. As someone who generally sticks to John Grisham and Stephen King, I must say, this is the hands down best book I have ever read. I finished it last month and will be picking it up again very soon!
Date published: 2007-08-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Page Turner! (highly recommended) Walls created the glass castle through her life experiences, she describes the events so that you feel compelled to find out what happens next in her life...it is the type of book that you will not put down, front to back, hands down one of the best memoirs I have ever read!
Date published: 2007-05-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very moving and inspiring Jeannette Walls tells her story very simply and eloquently, without insult but with absolute realism. She portrays her childhood in a way not to invoke pity or sympathy but instead to relay facts and experiences to her readers, to be informing and basically to share her life. This book was one I found to be very moving and inspiring too. Human spirit, with its determination and will to survive, is seen at its very strongest through Jeannette and her family.
Date published: 2007-04-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read! Reading this book helped me better appreciate all the material stuff I have: a roof over my head, more than enough food on the table, a little money to indulge my family with extras.... I work with a food bank and come into weekly contact with families that are in financial need. But this story still managed to really affect me. No one (especially a child) should have to live in such poverty. I will most definitely recommend that my local library add this book to its collection.
Date published: 2007-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Life Changing Wow, what a book. I wasn't able to put it down. To think and read that people lived the way the Walls did and still do, has fascinated me to no end. It's also made me reflect on how lucky we truly are to have a normal life. We're rich compared to what they were. It has also made me reflect on how to be a better wife and not to take things for granted. I highly recommend everyone reading this book, it will change your life.
Date published: 2007-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't Put Down! I absolutely LOVED this book. I could not put it down. It was so inspiring and heartfelt. I felt I was right there in the book looking at what this girl went through. It's a highly recommended read. I recommend it to everyone I know!!
Date published: 2007-03-06
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing for the most part I found the first chapter intriguing, but the bulk of the story was lacking in emotion and left me feeling empty. I would have enjoyed learning more of how the author and her siblings "banded together" emotionally to survive this deplorable upbringing, as they surely are survivors. Then again, the ending provided some insight into the HEART of the author, which helped offset a disappointing story. Too bad, if she had injected a bit more feeling into the story I think it would have been a real winner.
Date published: 2007-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring!! Jeannette Walls' story is truly an inspiration to anyone who has ever dealt with hardship in their lives. What a wonderful story and an amazing family!!
Date published: 2007-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from "Absolutely Addicting" Wow! What can I say, this book is absolutely awesome. It is extremely captivating. I would read it every spare moment that I had and like another reader had said when I wasn't reading it I was thinking about it and how Jeanettes life must of been. It certainly makes you think of your own life and how blessed we really are.
Date published: 2007-02-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not Great I thought this book would be great, with all the good reviews. I found it to be very boring. Someone compared it to be as good as The Kite Runner - not even close. Didn't finish it.
Date published: 2007-01-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Truly Inspiring Story. Jennette Walls has told her inspring story with such passion and depth that you come away from this book appreciating so much more of life than you had before. She tells the story as just a matter of fact and leaves interpretation to the reader. I have found myself thinking about the story even weeks after I finished it. It's a must read in my opinion and greatly deserving of it's awards.
Date published: 2007-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Addictive Read! I was addicted to this book from the very first chapter and read it every chance I got. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it, eager to get back to find out what would happen next. I've told everyone I know about this book, hoping they'll all experience what I did. A must read!
Date published: 2006-12-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from good book I enjoyed it very much.
Date published: 2006-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unforgettable This book has really brought things into perspective for me. I didn't realize before how blessed I was to have such a warm and stable home. It also motivates me. It's unbelievable that Jannette went through such circumstances but she didn't give up on her education. She is inspiring, and a great role model.
Date published: 2006-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heartbreaking! The author writes wonderfully of unforgettable events and obstacles that shaped her past ... with honesty and hope. A book that I could not put down!
Date published: 2006-11-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Book! I loved this book, I always struggle to find a book that I can't put down and this was definitely one of those books. Jeannette's account of her childhood is horrific at times, but hilarious at others. She managed weave the unfortunate events in her childhood into a magnificent read. She had me laughing and almost in tears at the same time. I really felt that this book opened my eyes to things that I did not realize could really happen, and made me very greatful for all the things that I was privileged enough to have while I was growing up.
Date published: 2006-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent read! I absolutely loved this book! It was a fantastic story about family and overcoming obstacles.
Date published: 2006-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Read Great book. I could not put it down. I recommend this book to anyone. You will not be disappointed!
Date published: 2006-09-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dancing on Life's Borders Between the Turbulence&O This is an amazing read. I am not one for memoirs but this book changed my opinion. The book is so descriptive; it feels like you are there with the Walls family. It takes courage to live a life in the shadows and even more to step out and write your story for the world to read. When done this novel you'll notice how much you have and how much it really means to you, be grateful for what you have. I recommend this book for everyone!
Date published: 2006-09-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worthwhile Read! I thought this book was fantastic. It really draws you into the story from the beginning and keeps you enthralled until the very end. Some parts disgusted me completely other parts were very touching. I can't see anybody not loving this book.
Date published: 2006-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awe Inspiring This novel pulls you into a life of modern day gypsies. You feel as though you are being driven from city to city escaping the maffias of the father's imagination, and doing anything you can think of to make a couple of dollars for food while the mom works toward her "artist's" career. You can't help but feel greatful of your own up-bringing when faced with this alternative. It is truly shocking and breath-taking. The love of this family kept them going through the hardest of times.
Date published: 2006-08-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly enthralling A truly amazing story of hardships and adventure, of struggles and strength. The author makes it easy to relate to her close relationship with her father and her waivering relationship with her mother, and to understand all the unimaginables that she goes through.
Date published: 2006-08-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely loved it! The minute I finished reading this book I wanted to start reading it again. It does not seem like a memoir. Although I could not normally imagine living in the conditions Jeanette and her family lived in, her writing brought you into the desert and their small shack with her. She made it all sound like such fun. Every obstacle this family faced was turned into an adventure. This woman stayed so positive throughout everything that was thrown at her and writes of it so vividly without any signs of ill feelings. It was truly inspiring.
Date published: 2006-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Phenomenal! From the first page, Jeannette whisks you away on a mind-blowing, gripping and at times, comical ride of her childhood. I kept having to pause between chapters and look at her picture on the back cover to believe that she really existed and lived through the chaos and craziness that was her life. In many ways, I respect how poignantly written the novel was and how little resentment she feels towards her parents. In this day and age of "over-parenting", many will gasp over the episodes of neglect Jeannette and her siblings endure. In retrospect, having grown up in the '70's and '80's, I could relate on some level to the carefree and free-living ways of her family. Jeannette's story made me realize, even more than before, that no matter what hand you are dealt, you and only you have the power to change your destiny and make something of your life. I highly recommend reading this book and have already shared my copy with several family members and friends. You will not regret having spent time with the Walls Family. They will leave an indelible impression on you for years to come.
Date published: 2006-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent! This book truly gives the reader a perspective of living on the other side, apart from the norm we are so used to. It is a book which celebrates the human spirit with all it's complexities. I highly recommend this book. It would make a great reading book club selection!
Date published: 2006-08-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A "Curl-Up" book I brought this book with me to a cottage one weekend and I barely put it down. This is the kind of book that you can't wait to talk about with other readers. I loaned my copy to my mother and she read it in one day. It will make you laugh, cry, and reflect on your own 'normal' childhood. This is a must read. I am glad I picked up another "Heather Pick". We share a name and the same taste in books.
Date published: 2006-08-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a story that really touches your heart this book was a definite page turner. extremely moving, honest, and real. it takes a lot of courage to write what Walls wrote. normally, people with experiences such as hers would want to hide their past. that is why i truely admire her bravery. she is also a great story teller! it's a MUST READ!
Date published: 2006-08-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Quirky Quirky ! That is the family portrayed in this book! Although I did enjoy it , I couldn't help but think ....memoir?......i' m not so sure about that. If Oprah gave author Glen Frey a hard time about embelishing his memoir ...she would crucify Jeannette Walls.
Date published: 2006-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down This was the best book I had read all summer. It was a great story about growing up and dealing with a unusual family. I have recommended it to all of my friends.
Date published: 2006-07-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unlike anything I've read The lesson that I learned from reading this book is that your future is not predetermined by your upbringing, but is what you yourself make of it. These children are a perfect example of this, and I encourage customers to pick up this autobiography because you won't be able to put it down!
Date published: 2006-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome Book! This book was absolutly amazing. I recommend it to anyone at all! Some things that people go through while growing up are absolutely so horrible but shapes them so well. And this book definatly shows that!
Date published: 2006-07-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Could not put it down I have to say it's been a long time since I've enjoyed a book as much as this one. It made me laugh and it made me cry. The best of the Best! Hope there is a sequel at a future date!
Date published: 2006-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An absolute must read. This book had me hooked from the beginning. A true autobiography depicting the lives of neglected children who survived and thrived. I recommend this book wholeheartedly. Jeannette Walls writes about her background through the eyes of a child, and one is immediately captivated from page one. It amazed me that despite such a horrific childhood, Ms. Walls thrived .
Date published: 2006-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible story! Jeanette Walls paints a sad, & moving picture of her hellish childhood with an indifferent Mother, & alcoholic Father. The fact that she harbors no animosity towards her parents for the emotional, & mental damage that they caused, is the heartwrenching part. That she, & her brother, & sister rose above their upbringing to become productive citizens in society is truly an astounding story of survival. It proves that a child will endure almost anything to secure the love of their parents, & that above all else, we are adaptable. Her story simply amazed me.
Date published: 2006-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from heart breaking, but triumphant... difficult to read at times, but so worth the outcome...the children could have become so bitter and blaming...like some kids of today seem to be so quick to do... a little adversary in our childhoods can be a good thing...these kids experienced a bit too much...but they stuck together, and made it through...well done!
Date published: 2006-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Could not put it down! I absolutely loved this story. From the very beginning, the story flowed right through to the end. I could not put this book down, it was a great read. I would recommend this story to anyone.
Date published: 2006-07-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Remarkable! This book left me speechless, touched, and inspired. The only book that has ever made me cry.
Date published: 2006-07-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from "Inspirational" Another dysfunctional family, yet somehow I connected with this family. The family lives on but not in a home with the white picket fence. They all grow both physically, emotionally and intellectually and find their own "Glass Castle". The possibilities of what an individual or family can do if they want to do it is expressed in this book. It also clearly shows that what my "Glass Castle" is may not be what yours is but you can still love and respect each others choices. I enjoyed this book. It gave me food for thought and that is definitely one of many reasons to read a book.
Date published: 2006-07-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Glad I picked this up! What struck me was the support and love shared by the 3 oldest children. What adversity. What a life! You can't help but be both shocked and moved. I think teenagers would find this an eye-openning read as well. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2006-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Terrific read! I chose this book for our book club and everyone loved the book. It was truly amazing to read about how these children grew up with such hardships and still remained happy under the circumstances. I would reccomend this book to other book clubs.
Date published: 2006-07-12

– More About This Product –

The Glass Castle: A Memoir

by Jeannette Walls
Read by Jeannette Walls

Format: Audio Book (CD)

Dimensions: 5.75 × 5.06 × 0.9 in

Published: September 28, 2010

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1442339705

ISBN - 13: 9781442339705

About the Book

Jeannette Walls' spellbinding memoir of her childhood has become a national sensation, tranforming millions of readers around the country.

Read from the Book

Chapter 1: A Woman on the Street I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster. It was just after dark. A blustery March wind whipped the steam coming out of the manholes, and people hurried along the sidewalks with their collars turned up. I was stuck in traffic two blocks from the party where I was heading. Mom stood fifteen feet away. She had tied rags around her shoulders to keep out the spring chill and was picking through the trash while her dog, a black-and-white terrier mix, played at her feet. Mom''s gestures were all familiar -- the way she tilted her head and thrust out her lower lip when studying items of potential value that she''d hoisted out of the Dumpster, the way her eyes widened with childish glee when she found something she liked. Her long hair was streaked with gray, tangled and matted, and her eyes had sunk deep into their sockets, but still she reminded me of the mom she''d been when I was a kid, swan-diving off cliffs and painting in the desert and reading Shakespeare aloud. Her cheekbones were still high and strong, but the skin was parched and ruddy from all those winters and summers exposed to the elements. To the people walking by, she probably looked like any of the thousands of homeless people in New York City. It had been months since I laid eyes on Mom, and when she looked up, I was overcome with panic that she''d see me and call out my name, and tha
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From 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.

About the Author

Jeannette Walls was born in Phoenix, Arizona. She graduated from Barnard College and was a journalist in New York City for twenty years. Her books include the memoir The Glass Castle and Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel.

Jeannette Walls was born in Phoenix, Arizona. She graduated from Barnard College and was a journalist in New York City for twenty years. Her books include the memoir The Glass Castle and Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel.

Editorial Reviews

"Just read the first pages of The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, and I defy you not to go on. It''s funny and sad and quirky and loving. I was incredibly touched by it."

-- Dominick Dunne, author of The Way We Lived Then: Recollections of a Well-Known Name Dropper

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