Give me books, fruit, french wine and fine weather and a little music out of doors. --John Keats

Friday, May 22, 2009

"The Glass Castle: A Memoir" by Jeannette Walls

The Glass Castle drew me in from almost the first page. It had a tendency, of course, to be horrifying, as so many novels written for adults seem to be, but somehow through all of the terrible situations the author was forced to live through as a child, she was able to infuse the novel with humor. I actually found myself laughing out loud a few times.

At the beginning of The Glass Castle I found a quote from a Dylan Thomas poem entitled "Poem on His Birthday," and one line caught my eye: "Dark is a way and light is a place." To me, that speaks of darkness being a journey, something to pass through, something to be endured, something temporary; and light, the destination, the goal, a place of security and quiet joy. After having read the novel, I find that this line (and my take on it) definitely applies here.


aph08 said...

I loved this book. It was soo hard at points but since it starts with her being well adjusted in NYC, I just kept thinking she'll make it through. I recommended it to someone though and when I started to explain he said that sounds depressing and had no interest in reading it. Oh well.

Kathy said...

I totally agree that it made such a difference to know from the beginning that the author was able to end up in a good place in life despite all her hardships in childhood.

If you loved this book, you may like Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock. It's fiction, not a memoir, and the kids have just as horrifying a childhood as Jeannette Walls (if not worse), but it is a good read!

Kathy said...

I can't believe my MOM just recommended this book to me. She read it, and then passed it along to my Dad!! Maybe I need to rethink my "not suitable for my mom" label. ;)

Amanda said...

I finally read Me & Emma, I got the book quite a while back but I was afraid it would be a heart wrenching read, so I waited until I felt up for it. Actually, it wasn't too heart wrenching and I really enjoyed it. Not to say it wasn't a sad story, but it didn't dwell on those parts.
And I really didn't see that end coming, I always enjoy an unexpected twist!

My Grandmother gave me Glass Castles to read, so maybe it's not a keep from mom book, but it was difficult to swallow at times, without at least wanting to scream, ARG!!

Kathy said...

I agree--a lot of the circumstances in Glass Castle were frustrating and difficult to swallow.

Glad you liked Me & Emma, and glad the twist surprised you! It did me too!!