The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle

A Memoir

Book - 2006
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Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2006, c2005.
ISBN: 9780743247542
Characteristics: 288 p. ; 21 cm.

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a
abi_lou
May 05, 2021

Sometimes you just need a good cry, and if you’re anything like me, you repress your own problems too much to accept that they’re worth crying over – so you pick up someone’s memoir and cry over that instead. The Glass Castle is a wonderful book to cry over. Jeannette Walls writes with such frankness and clarity and art that I am downright jealous. (I am also rather jealous of her ability to be so open about her past, to share her journey with the world – but, boy, am I glad she did.) Now, excuse me while I call my mother, sobbing and thanking her for making sure we always had food on the table, even when it was hard to do so.

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kchang12
Apr 30, 2021

The Glass Castle is such an inspiring memoir. I really enjoyed reading this book because everything in the memoir actually happened. I couldn’t believe it, especially regarding her unconventional childhood. I definitely got emotional while reading it because it was extremely heartfelt. While her parents gave her a life that was anything but ordinary, Walls managed to create an amazing piece of writing based on it. It’s truly remarkable. The descriptive use of language makes this memoir something you want to continue reading. The Glass Castle is so uplifting and made me reflect on my own life and realize how fortunate I am. I recommend everyone to read this book.

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mattfromthecity
Apr 04, 2021

A very touching memoir about family, hardship, and tenacity. Perhaps not the deepest book you'll ever read but a collection of stories sometimes hard to believe, sometimes hard to read, but ultimately the sentiment flows through. If you've ever doubted yourself, know that someone has always come from much harder to make their way through life

Chapel_Hill_KrystalB Mar 22, 2021

Decided to finally listen to this one after continuing to hear about it over the years. And given its themes, it's not surprising that I liked it. What is surprising, though... I didn't love it. I think its style was simply too plain and list-y for me- this happened, then this happened, and then THIS happened... It's like it lacked deeper connections between events and more personal examinations by the author for me to feel fully attached. That said, I respect the telling of her story in her way, and that way clearly resonates with many, many people.

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ALHR
Mar 04, 2021

Its a page turner and very shocking story. Coming from a normal family in a rural location its hard to believe other families live and raise their children so differently. I really wonder how the parents could expect so much from their children and so little from themselves. There should have been red flags to alert authorities many times.

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jonahdrake
Jan 01, 2021

“The Glass Castle” is a memoir about a girl named Jeannette, who when looking back on her childhood after growing up, writes about her experiences in a strange family.
She writes about the times that she suffered, learned, and laughed in her adventurous life. Her father is a drunk liar, her mother is a selfish and irresponsible woman, and they constantly move from town to town because of the father, Rex. Rex constantly moves because he is searching for gold to fund his dream, The Glass Castle. His idea is to build this castle far from civilization that is self-sufficient, being able to supply solar energy, clean water, and plumbing. The making of this castle would be near to impossible, since the family was completely poor, and living in poverty for the majority of their lives. Since the parents don’t look over their children that much, the children have to figure a lot of things out on their own, which makes her story very interesting.
Personally, I really enjoyed this book since it really gets you to reflect on your own life, and appreciate the things you have. At first, I didn’t really like the beginning of the memoir because I thought it was meaningless, but later in her memoir, you look back and see how powerful it really is. I would recommend this book to 14+ (high school students), for its language and content. This book teaches a lot of important lessons too, so it could be useful in real-life situations.

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Rdi123
Nov 17, 2020

Loved this novel

k
kmcdouall
Oct 30, 2020

Many will be familiar with Walls's now-classic memoir, due to the 2017 film. If you liked the film, read the book for full immersion into this chaotic family. Walls has an appealing style, detailing the outrages of neglect and betrayal she endured as a child, but doing so with a distance that allows her to convey the humor and love that was there underneath the mental illness and alcoholism. She tells her story with compelling insight and appreciation for what she endured, what she valued, and what she overcame. Join her on this roller coaster ride--you won't be sorry for spending some time seeing the world through this child's eyes.

pacl_teens Sep 29, 2020

"I think I’ve found my favorite book. I love it so much. I love the complexity of the people in the book. They’re flawed in many ways, but they’re also human. This book made me laugh and cry. It’s honest and real, and it’s filled with all the things we don’t want to admit about ourselves. Jeannette writes like a journalist, concisely reporting the facts of her life. It’s straightforward, but beautifully written.
There are many aspects of this book that feel fantastical and crazy. But there are also many aspects that are simply universal experiences. Family is crazy at times. But at the end of the day, you still love them and support them, no matter what happens. Jeannette’s family is a perfect example of that. Her mother is a narcissist, but she’s also incredibly creative and full of life. Her dad was an irresponsible drunk, but he was also adventurous and intelligent. Humans are multi-faceted, and to judge them based on a subset of their qualities is simply unfair.
At the beginning of the book, I wanted to punch Jeannette’s mom, shake her and yell, “What kind of mom is too immature to actually care for her children?!’” Yet as I progressed through the novel and understood more about her, I could no longer pass such harsh judgement. That’s just the way she is. Sometimes family is crazy, but you must still love and support them, no matter how they want to live their lives. And same goes for her dad. Yes, he did terrible things to them, but he still loved Jeannette. When she didn’t have enough money to pay for college tuition, he quietly handed her one thousand wadded-up and mismatched bills so she could continue her education. Even though he was broke and homeless.
There are so many things in this novel that I love. By being honest, Walls is able to connect people through shared experiences. I think everyone will be able to find some part of the book they truly connect with." -Alina, Grade 10

"The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls is a memoir that sparks emotions from happiness to a deep grief. This memoir lets readers dive into Jeannette's life. She had a difficult upbringing because of her flawed parents. There are several episodes of her father creating the most beautiful memories with Jeannette as a kid, but there are times when he is driven by alcohol. Jeannette and her siblings want to escape from her parents, to live a life where she has enough to eat, a place to sleep, and most importantly, where she is free. She starts out as a naive girl, looking up to her father. She later realizes that her father is not who she thinks he was. She is surrounded by harmful influences, but does not let that affect who she is as a person in a negative way. [...]
I loved this book because Jennette wrote in a way where she always had an open ending which made me wonder how that scene ended for her. I put myself in her shoes and her words bring me to every scene she went through. If I had not read this book, I would have never known that there were people who have encountered a difficult childhood but still succeeded in life. This book gives hope for those who are going through burdensome times. Her writing was easy to empathize and the book helped encourage gratitude for what I was available to. Her open ended chapters and her short, concise openings kept me guessing how the previous problem was solved.
I would recommend this book to those who are encountering hard times because this book has taught me so many lessons." - Jenna Grade 9

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pkfullagar
Sep 09, 2020

please remove from my list

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Age Suitability

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e
elisabeth_23
Apr 28, 2020

elisabeth_23 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

b
bell5133
Dec 17, 2018

bell5133 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

b
beijes
Dec 08, 2018

beijes thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

j
jmli
May 18, 2017

jmli thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

e
ecarr1212
Aug 15, 2015

ecarr1212 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

m
MADKC4Ever
Nov 17, 2014

MADKC4Ever thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

ellegibson Jul 17, 2014

ellegibson thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

orange_squirrel_4 Aug 23, 2013

orange_squirrel_4 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Ninja_Kevin Jun 17, 2012

Ninja_Kevin thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Summary

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e
Erin80Reads
Oct 09, 2018

The Glass Castle is a story about the author's rather dysfunctional childhood and how she, along with her siblings, overcame challenges from childhood through adulthood. From the very first page, she is able to capture exactly how she felt in pivotal moments perfectly, allowing the reader to feel exactly as she felt - embarrassed, sad, afraid, and, in some cases, happy.

As children, the Walls took care of themselves. Their parents, under the premise of making them strong, often did questionable and downright abusive things. The story is spread across the author's entire childhood and ventures into her adult life, and it's an amazing tale of how her perception of her mother and father changes throughout the years. Despite her troubles, the love she felt for her parents never faltered.

Anyone who grew up in a dysfunctional household or with an alcoholic parent will be able to relate to the way the author simultaneously loves, doubts, and sometimes loathes her father. Anyone who grew up with a self-absorbed mother will relate to the way the author explains her own mother's eccentric, self-involved, and somehow still loving ways. It's one of the most relatable books I've ever read.

j
jmli
May 18, 2017

The story revolves mostly around the childhood of the author. It describes the nomadic lifestyle of the Walls and how the children have learned to grow without their parents' support. The Glass Castle is mainly telling the dysfunctional connections in this dysfunctional family.

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bogwolf
Jun 19, 2015

A journalist remembers her challenging, unconventional and impoverished childhood & the family with whom she shared these challenges.

Bonavista May 06, 2011

I loved that she went through so much as a child and teenager but still held the faith the whole time and came out of it. I think, a better person for it.

carlakacz May 03, 2011

This was a very intriguing book to read, a glimpse into someones life that is almost unbelievable.

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patl
Feb 16, 2011

Remarkable memoir of resilence and redemption and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeanette's brillant and charismatic father catured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishones and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn't want the responsibility of raising a family. The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed and protected one another and eventually found their way to New York.Their parents followed them choosing to be homeless even as their children propsered.

Quotes

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e
elisabeth_23
Apr 30, 2020

“Life is a drama full of tragedy and comedy. You should learn to enjoy the comic episodes a little more.”

e
elisabeth_23
Apr 30, 2020

“You should never hate anyone, even your worst enemies. Everyone has something good about them. You have to find the redeeming quality and love the person for that.”

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AliceInWonderbread
Sep 20, 2019

“One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by.” - Jeanette Walls

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AliceInWonderbread
Sep 20, 2019

“You should never hate anyone, even your worst enemies. Everyone has something good about them. You have to find the redeeming quality and love the person for that.” - Jeanette Walls

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jmli
May 18, 2017

"It's the Joshua tree's struggle that gives it its beauty." - Rose Mary Wells

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MADKC4Ever
Nov 17, 2014

"I'm not upset because I'll miss you," Mom said. "I'm upset because you get to go to New York and I'm stuck here. It's not fair."

Notices

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a
AlignedStars
Aug 04, 2017

Coarse Language: Jeanette's father does tend to cuss frequently.

j
jmli
May 18, 2017

Sexual Content: 2 somewhat sexual scenes in regards to the protagonist.

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