Anytime I asked my friend for a book recommendation, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls was the only book she would tell me to read. So, after a few months, I finally decided to pick up the book she continually raved about.
The book is a memoir of Jeannette Walls’ more than dysfunctional life from childhood to adulthood. Growing in up in poverty with an alcoholic father, unpredictable mother, and her three siblings, Jeannette retells her different experiences. The story begins later in Jeanette’s life with her on the way to a get-together when she sees her homeless mother digging through trash on the streets of New York. After this shocking start of the book, the audience is drawn in as she goes back in time to her being three years old and from there the story is written in chronological order, with each chapter being a moment in her life.
The story is heartbreaking, encouraging, and completely stunning as she experiences events that do not seem possible, such as hospital trips, lack of food, and homelessness. The Glass Castle opens the door to a perspective that is often overlooked. I spent the entire time rooting for Jeannette and her family as they encounter many setbacks caused by a number of variables, whether it is family members or outside sources. It is a story of human life and human nature as the characters grow and continue through life. You may love and hate different characters, but I felt that most of the time I simply saw the characters as real people doing their best to figure life out.
The writing itself is also captivating. There was not a moment when reading the book that I felt disconnected to the characters or the story. It was as though I was living through the eyes of Jeannette, feeling devastated whenever a bad event happened to the individuals in the story and ecstatic when the characters finally caught a break.
As soon as I finished reading the story all I could do was sit and call my friend who had recommended the book because I had loved it so much. I would say this is definitely a book to put on everyone’s to-read list as it makes you cry, think, and laugh. Overall it is an extraordinary story written in a unique and impeccable manner.