The Glass Castle: A Memoir Book By Jeannette Walls (Online Reading - Summary - Review - Book - Download - PDF)

The Glass Castle is a 2005 memory of Jeannette Walls. The book recounts the unconventional and poverty-stricken education that Jeannette and her siblings had at the hands of their deeply dysfunctional parents. The title refers to the long intention of his father to build the house of his dreams, a crystal castle.

The memoirs spent more than 260 weeks in hardcover on the New York Times bestseller list and remained on the paperback non-fiction bestseller list until October 10, 2018, having persisted for 440 weeks. By the end of 2007, The Glass Castle had sold more than 2.7 million copies, had been translated into 22 languages ​​and received the Christopher Prize, the Alex Prize from the United States Library Association (2006) and the Books for a Life Award best.

The Glass Castle was adapted as a movie, released in the summer of 2017.

Originally publishedMarch 2005 / AuthorJeannette Walls / Page count: 289 / PublisherCharles Scribner's Sons / AwardChristopher Awards / Genres: Memoir, Autobiography, Biography
 

Book Summary
A tender and moving story of unconditional love in a family that, despite its deep flaws, gave the author the ardent determination to forge a successful life on her own terms.

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity was both her curse and her salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. At first, they lived like nomads, moving among desert towns in the southwest, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic and bright man who, when sober, captured the imagination of his children, teaching them physics, geology and, above all, how to embrace life without fear. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and could not bear the responsibility of supporting her family, called herself "addicted to emotion." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes was unattractive when he could make a painting that could last forever.

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of wandering life vanished, the Walls retired to the sad mining town of West Virginia, and to the family, Rex Walls had done everything possible to escape. He drank. He stole the money from the supermarket and disappeared for days. As the family's dysfunction intensified, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting each other while resisting the betrayals of their parents and eventually finding the resources and willingness to leave home.

What is so surprising about Jeannette Walls is not only that she had the guts, tenacity, and intelligence to go out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Theirs is a story of triumph against wind and tide, but also a tender and moving story of unconditional love in a family that despite its deep flaws gave it the ardent determination to forge a successful life on its own terms.

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

Book Club Questions

Book Review
Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity was both her curse and her salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. At first, they lived like nomads, moving among desert towns in the southwest, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic and bright man who, when sober, captured the imagination of his children, teaching them physics, geology and, above all, how to embrace life without fear. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and could not bear the responsibility of supporting her family, called herself "addicted to emotion." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes was unattractive when he could make a painting that could last forever.

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of wandering life vanished, the Walls retired to the sad mining town of West Virginia, and to the family, Rex Walls had done everything possible to escape. He drank. He stole the money from the supermarket and disappeared for days. As the family's dysfunction intensified, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting each other while resisting the betrayals of their parents and eventually finding the resources and willingness to leave home.

What is so surprising about Jeannette Walls is not only that she had the guts, tenacity, and intelligence to go out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Theirs is a story of triumph against wind and tide, but also a tender and moving story of unconditional love in a family that despite its deep flaws gave it the ardent determination to forge a successful life on its own terms.

For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to MSNBC.com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to writer John Taylor.

About the Author
Jeannette Walls is a writer and journalist.
Born in Phoenix, Arizona, she graduated with honors from Barnard College, the women's university-affiliated with Columbia University. He published a sales success report, The Glass Castle, in 2005. The book was adapted to a movie and released to theaters in August 2017.

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