The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle

A tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that, despite its profound flaws, gave the author the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story.

Title:The Glass Castle
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780743247542
Format Type:
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    The Glass Castle Reviews

  • Meredith Holley

    My sister saw The Glass Castle on my coffee table and said, “Oh, I read that. It’s kind of . . .” then she paused and we both were awkwardly silent for a minute. “Well, I was going to say, it...

  • Emily May

    Now I get why people like this memoir so much.Though it is a memoir and a true story, both the writing style and the way Walls reminisces about her childhood make it seem like more of a fairy tale. My...

  • Elyse

    Another Update: I just saw the movie!!! I liked it! Woody Harrelson - Brie Larsonand Naomi Watts were all great! I thought they got the important 'duel' emotions just right. On one end - the parents d...

  • Angela Cross

    I guess I have a somewhat different frame of reference than several of the reviewers here. I can relate to many of the lessons she learned, and as such, I never had an issue believing her. These thing...

  • Krenzel

    "The Glass Castle" is a memoir written by gossip columnist Jeanette Walls, which details her unconventional childhood growing up with an alcoholic father and a mother who seems to be mentally ill. Wal...

  • Matthew

    Who here has seen the show Shameless? (I am thinking of the American version, but I know there is a British one, too, that it is based on.) To me, that show could have been inspired by this memoir. Fr...

  • Raeleen Lemay

    4.5/5This was really good! Difficult to read at times, but a marvellous book. ...

  • Fabian

    The warning is this: If you are going to become parents you must simply forego being bohemian. Otherwise your children might grow up to be super successful & you will end up eating trash off dark alle...

  • Annalisa

    What I loved about this book is this: it presents her parents, with all their faults, and the poor mentality, at its worst, without anger, exasperation, or even really any judgment, just with the quir...

  • Kate

    This book really made me angry--why can people who have absolutely no business having kids be able to have four?Let me backtrack...In the beginning, the Walls family is always on the run. The father i...