Book #54 The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

After seeing this one on countless bestseller and bookclub of the month lists, I decided to try it out knowing that such a touted memoir must be one which firmly knotted the old heart-strings.

Walls was the second oldest of her four siblings born to a college educated mother who was hellbent to never use her teaching degree as she was an Artiste and an alcoholic big-idea father. I did not think that any parents would frustrate me more than the mother in the novel, Towelhead (see Book #36) but oh how wrong I was. The children basically starved and lived in incredibly destitue dire circumstances (no electricity, no indoor plumbing, huge holes in the roof over where they slept, little to no food, no medical treatment on serious injuries, having their money stolen by their own parents, being molested by countless people including their own grandmother and uncle, having their father send them up with a man who he knew was going to make sexual advances on his young daughter, etc.) All by an educated couple who if they had put their own selfishness aside would have been able to support their children. In fact, the mother owned land worth over a million dollars which she refused to sell or even live on. Instead, her children starved.

It’s an intriguing memoir to read mostly because the way it is told. There’s no self pity or whining. It’s just laid out there. Of course, what was really sad was that I realized that I grew up with many children who were in same financial cirucumstances as I also grew up in the very rural Appalachian mountains. Unfortunately, I was about as thoughtless as the Walls classmates when it came to their struggle. That’s where the pain really hit for me.

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