The Glass Castle
I am not normally a big fan of memoirs, but I am very glad I made the exception for this one.
Written with a powerful clarity and possessing remarkable prose, this is a story that reads like a fairy tale for the modern time.
Nomadic and possibly mentally affected mother, an alcoholic father, extreme poverty, and the struggles that are born from each make up the background.
Jeannette tells her story with humor and humility. We are never preached to, and her story is not part of a self positioned pedestal. Instead, we have her story of triumph and escape from a highly dysfunctional situation that is both inspiring and heartbreaking.
What really makes this book fascinating is her tone. She loves her parents despite their obvious and detrimental flaws, and that love shines through. It is easy for a child who doesn’t know any better to idolize her father and not see his sins as sins, but even as she ages Jeannette manages to show both the good and the not so good in her parents with descriptions that are honest and haunting, and which never place her obvious love for them in doubt.
The pace is clear, the characters are well developed, the stories from her youth as fully fleshed out and act as perfect threads that weave the story of the Walls family in vivid and tragic relief.
I highly recommend this book.