Title: The Glass Castle
Author: Jeannette Walls
Published: March 2005
Summary: In this memoir, Jeannette Walls shares her unconventional upbringing, which is wrought with poverty, instability, and dreaming big. Jeannette shares her experience in a family of 6 with two stubborn, dreamy-eyed parents always looking to do the skeedadle to something bigger and better.
Why I Am Recommending: I may be a bit late to the punch on this one, but I am so glad I finally read this story. I am not normally a non-fiction reader, but this book reads like fiction, especially given the unbelievable situations the Walls family experienced. I was in awe of the stories she shared about her parents and siblings; she must have had substantial buy-in from her family, whom she acknowledges in the first pages of the book. It absolutely amazed me that someone could grow up amidst such adversity and live to tell the story. Rex and Rose Mary Walls were unconventional parents, to put it lightly, and I vacillated between thinking they were refreshingly good parents and cursing them for being neglectful, irresponsible parents. I was most often in the latter state of mind. This story demonstrates the power of resiliency, and I was incredibly impressed with Jeannette’s tenacity to work hard and pull herself and her siblings out of poverty. Her capacity to love and accept her deeply flawed parents astounded me and made me do some self-reflection about how I could be more accepting and loving towards my loved ones. After finishing the book, I went into a Google spiral looking for more information on Jeannette Walls and her family and came across this New York Times article from 2013, which gives you a peek into her present day life and further illustrates the place of acceptance she has come to with her mom. This was an all-around great read and I can’t wait to see how Hollywood adapts the story to film, which is due out in August of this year.