Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Book Review - The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Interesting but sad... If you've read it we need to talk. I'm not sure whether I recommend it.... Sorry for the confusion.

4 comments:

Holley, Dane Brien & Wesley Berry said...

Julie I know what you mean about not really knowing if you liked this book. When I read it the story evoked in me a strange phenomenon. I can't say that I liked this book, but at the same time, I could not put it down. I had to get to the end to see how the events of the book affected the main character's current life. However, throughout the reading process, I was frustrated and angry. How could parents like Walls' be so oblivious to the suffering of their children and not do anything about it. Reading this book was an emotional roller coaster- mostly of negative emotions. Through the pitfalls, though, the story was eye-opening to a lifestyle I've had no exposure to (thank goodness). As a mother, it was enlightening to think about the kinds of children that come in an out of my life mostly through their association with my boys. We’ve had some kids who have stayed with us for an extended period of time due to their situations at home and my parents also were sort of “foster” parents to kids throughout my childhood. I’m sure for you as a teacher’s assistant, it made you wonder about the students that come in and out of your life. The other thing that sort of bothered me about this book was the fact that Walls seemed almost blasé about her experience and she didn’t really shed any light on how her siblings have handled that life. Sometimes the story almost seems made-up. I don’t know if I could have just lived a luxurious Park Avenue existence knowing my parents were homeless. But maybe if I had lived through it, I might feel differently.
Whenever anyone has asked my opinion of this book, I usually say that it is thought provoking, but be prepared to be angry and unsatisfied if you choose to sit down with this book.

Julie J. said...

Holley, Thanks for summing it up for me. There were times where I was thinking - this can't be true (the UHaul). And my biggest problem with this book is that while I couldn't put it down, I too was angry and appalled (sp?) and then I totally felt mean and disconnected from my family while I read it. And, yes, it really made me sad for some girls in my activity days group... I feel like no one loves them, but I feel helpless. The reason I'm not sure I could reccommend it is because of the emotional rollercoaster it sends the reader on. I was caught between utter horror and total disbelief.

Meesa said...

Julie, I hope reading this book was not bad for your spirit. I loved it, maybe because it was so roller coastery. I think in the end she chose to be successful, and sane. I have no doubt that some kids grow up this way. I am with Holley though, it seems so far out there, could it me made up? I kind of got the idea that not all her siblings did fare very well. The youngest sister, who I kind of felt like did okay, at least in WV, as a child, seemed to have the worst time as an adult. I have thought it would be good to have each of the siblings write a book about their experiences. Perhaps Jeanette is the only one who could deal with all of this and put it out there for the world to see. Or perhaps as one review that I read said, it could not possibly be a real story. I am not sorry I read it, and have now recommended it to two people who both seem to have rather not read it!

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