Reviewed by Jessica Stewart, Courier Staff Writer
"I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster."
With this opening statement, Jeannette Walls catches your interest, and has no intention of letting it go. Writing about her life, Walls provides a treasure trove of experiences and life lessons that remain vivid in your mind hours after being read. Told in an off-hand manner, The Glass Castle provides the reader with a window looking in on an incredible world not often found in books.
Neglected by her drunk father and lazy mother, Walls is given free reign as a child, resulting in several terrible incidents. For example, while making hot dogs as a toddler, Walls catches on fire and ends up in the hospital for several weeks. Constantly moving to escape bill collectors, the family often finds themselves dirt poor and starving. They manage to survive on the money earned through odd jobs, and find meals in school trash cans. Although all odds are against them, the children end up succeeding in life, proving that you really can do whatever you want if you try hard enough.
A tale of determination and endurance, this memoir is a must-read. As satisfying as a cold lemonade on a hot summer day, it will give you a new appreciation for life and the things you take for granted.