The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls On the heels of the James Frey's "A Million Little Pieces" controversy, I think many people are skeptical of the memoir genre, especially those of the "I can't believe this was someone's life" variety. However, I find it completely disrespectful to say that this memoir is so outrageous it just can't be true. I believe this story and one of the major reasons why I believe it is apparently one of the major criticisms of the book, which is that the writer lacked any emotion or outrage as she told story after story of the injustices put upon her by her parents. When you're a child growing up in an abusive home, that's your "normal". It's only as the child gets older, learns about the outside world and how other families operate, that they start to realize things aren't as they should be. Which is exactly how this story unfolded. No one knows what goes on behind the closed doors of our neighbors' homes and if you can't believe that there are horrors and injustices done to kids every day, then I want to live in your world. I actually found myself thinking as I was reading that no one could even make this stuff up.

This book could be considered the American version of Angela's Ashes, except that the McCourts were poor for a reason. The Walls Family was poor by choice. I wonder what goes through Jeannette's mind now when she sits down at the end of the day and looks around at her home which has indoor plumbing and a roof that doesn't leak and a thermostat that she can turn up and down. I hope she not only feels a sense of pride in what she's accomplished, but in how she's been able to share her life with strangers. To be able to say to others who have gone through dysfunctional childhoods, "Hey, it's okay. Don't be ashamed of it, use it." And I completely agree with her inscription that everyone who is interesting has a past.

"I wanted to let the world know that no one had a perfect life, that even the people who seemed to have it all had their secrets."
— Jeannette Walls