The Hunting Horn

The Glass Castle — Book Review

Kiana Li, Staff Writer

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The Glass Castle is memoir written by Jeannette Walls in 2005. The title refers to her father’s long held intention of building his dream house, a glass castle. The memoir spent over 260 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list. Jeannette Walls is the second oldest of four children. Her father, Rex, is an alcoholic, and her mother, Rose Mary, is a painter and teacher. Continuously short on money and food, the family frequently moves around the country and is always trying to re-settle. When Jeannette is 7, her family moves to Battle Mountain, Nevada where they enjoy stability for the first time as Rex works for a mining company. Eventually, Rex loses his job and the kids grow hungry. A little while later, they decide to flee to Phoenix, Arizona. Jeannette initially believes they are moving to live with her grandmother but, on the way, she is told her Grandma Smith has died. Rex asks Jeannette what she would like for her 10th birthday, and Jeannette says she would like him to stop drinking. Rex, then, ties himself to a bed for a week to overcome his addiction to alcohol. Soon before 11th grade, Jeannette makes plans to move to New York City, but then realizes she can move a year early and complete 12th grade there. A short while later, Jeannette gets a call from Rose Mary who tells her that she and Rex have moved to the city to be with their children. Though Lori and Brian try to help their parents, they must eventually ban them from their apartments. Her parents soon become homeless and end up living in abandoned buildings. A few years later, Rex calls Jeannette and tells her that he is dying. He dies a few weeks later. Years later, the family gathers on Thanksgiving where they toast Rex. This book received many mixed reviews. “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.” Goodreads writes. “Walls has a telling memory for detail and an appealing unadorned style,” New York Times writes, “Readers will marvel at the intelligence and resilience of the Walls kids… ‘The Glass Castle’ falls short of being art, but its very good memoir.” This writer enjoyed the book because Jeannette Walls does an excellent job of telling her life story so the readers feel like they are there. I highly recommend this book for readers who love interesting novels with lots of drama.

 

                         The Glass Castle has also been made into a movie.

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The Glass Castle — Book Review