Mount Dora Chick Lit Book Club: June "The Glass Castle: A Memoir"

"The Glass Castle: A Memoir" by Jeannette Walls


From Publishers Weekly Starred Review. Freelance writer Walls doesn't pull her punches. She opens her memoir by describing looking out the window of her taxi, wondering if she's "overdressed for the evening" and spotting her mother on the sidewalk, "rooting through a Dumpster." Walls's parents—just two of the unforgettable characters in this excellent, unusual book—were a matched pair of eccentrics, and raising four children didn't conventionalize either of them. Her father was a self-taught man, a would-be inventor who could stay longer at a poker table than at most jobs and had "a little bit of a drinking situation," as her mother put it. With a fantastic storytelling knack, Walls describes her artist mom's great gift for rationalizing. Apartment walls so thin they heard all their neighbors? What a bonus—they'd "pick up a little Spanish without even studying." Why feed their pets? They'd be helping them "by not allowing them to become dependent." While Walls's father's version of Christmas presents—walking each child into the Arizona desert at night and letting each one claim a star—was delightful, he wasn't so dear when he stole the kids' hard-earned savings to go on a bender. The Walls children learned to support themselves, eating out of trashcans at school or painting their skin so the holes in their pants didn't show. Buck-toothed Jeannette even tried making her own braces when she heard what orthodontia cost. One by one, each child escaped to New York City. Still, it wasn't long before their parents appeared on their doorsteps. "Why not?" Mom said. "Being homeless is an adventure."

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Had a great time. Hope to see you all again from the other side of the table!!

    June 16, 2012

  • Leslie

    A very thought provoking book. One admires the children for their survival instinct and creativity, but infuriated with the parents for their lack of responsibility and addictions. Nurture or nature questions driven to the extreme!

    June 15, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great group of gals, lots of new faces. Hope we can continue throughout the summer

    June 15, 2012

  • Jill

    Loved the book and I enjoy the group; however, the group is too large to have a nice discussion where everyone participates. Perhaps breaking the large group into smaller groups would be better. Just my thoughts....

    June 15, 2012

  • Amber

    Excellent meetup. Thank you all for coming!

    June 15, 2012

  • Kathryn

    Sorry I can't join in. I will be recuperating from major surgery.

    May 5, 2012

  • Amber

    This is a wonderful book! A must read for sure.

    February 16, 2012

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