Book Review: The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Glass Castle is Jeannette Walls’ memoir of growing up with an alcoholic father and a mother that was surely mentally ill. The book opens when Jeannette is three and badly burns herself cooking hotdogs on the stove. She spends six weeks in the hospital until her parents “rescue” her and sneak her back home. This type of situation is repeated throughout the book. Jeannette’s parents are proud of their hands-off approach to parenting and repeatedly “help” Jeannette and her brother and sisters by making them do things no children their ages should have to do.

Jeannette retells the events of her childhood through the eyes of the child she was at the time and does a great job of keeping adult cynicism out of it. She doesn’t ask for pity, she lets the horribleness of the events she relates speak for themselves. Many times I wanted to reach through the book and strangle her parents. I read Jeanette’s gossip column on for years – to think that she was once the little girl in this book and not only survived but became very successful is amazing.