Monday, August 11, 2008

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Walls' Glass Castle is one memoir that reads like fiction, but cannot be any more real!! From the very opening chapter where Walls witnesess her mother digging through the trash to the very last chapter of her modern self, I could not put the book down. To imagine what this woman and her siblings went through growing up was a trip in and of itself! However, despite the chaos and dysfunctionality, Walls pulls off her account of childhood with wit and humor and utter calm and realism.

**Spoiler Alert**
Throughout the book, there are many different stories and many of them unforgettable. Being the spouse of a medical student quickly approaching graduation, I was particularly intrigued by the checking out of the hospital, Rex-Walls style! The grab-and-go was amazing!! You would think that the doctors at the hospital were trying to hurt them and not help them . . . something I guess my husband had better be ready for because I'm sure that Rex Walls was not or will not be the only one to check out in this way!! I was also shocked by the fact that Walls also had to stitch up her own dad's wound!! Yikes!! Yet, despite the many shocking stories, the most inspiring thing of all is to see that the majority of the kids turned out "normal". They made something of their lives based solely on their own motivation, something that they did not necessarily inherit from their parents, and worked hard to meet these goals!! For those of you who have read this book, what story stands out the most in your mind from Walls' life?

Ultimately, I enjoyed this book so much because it was a first-hand experience of the dedication and devotion that a family can have. No matter what Walls experienced, she never looked down on her parents, she never ranted and raved about her childhood and how she was raised, and she always talks with that underlying love for her parents, despite the shame or frustation that may be there. Afterall, you cannot pick your families, but you can still love them for who they are!! You may not always agree with their decisions, but you can still support them, no matter what you may have experienced in the past. I admire this!!

Now the question remains, would I recommend this book . . . ABSOLUTELY!! Read it and read it soon! It's not one you want to miss out on!

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