|THE GLASS CASTLE
The Glass Castle
By Jeanette Walls
Scribner New York 2005 $25.00
Sometimes, though rare, a book simply takes me captive. This one did. I have rarely read such a tale of a family with no center, no core, no parent even trying to keep it going. And yet a story of survival on a strange odyssey through childhood/
The parents married in 1956 and simply had babies; but had almost no parental skills or feelings. The mother was from a “respected” family and the father from a West Virginia mining town. Each of the parents wove their own world of dreams and alcohol for the father and denial for the mother. They did not acknowledge the plight of their children at all.
They lived in falling down shacks, at times went hungry. Not I don’t like what we have but the kind that causes pain in the gut. They wore ragged clothes to school. In the desert the heat helped but in the hills of West Virginia, the shack with no heat almost froze them and the hole in the roof was never fixed.
Both parents were full of pride and would neither take handouts or allow the children to do so.
Jeannette Walls opens her soul to share this story and she does it with grace and a non judgmental attitude. She with a uncanny lenses examines the way they lived in all its deprivation and yet is grateful for her parents and the gifts they gave her.
She now works for MSNBC as a financial reporter and it took courage to allow others to walk through her life. The children raised the parents are not living in a building in New York City as squatters. This story will make you for a few minutes consider all those who cannot make it and you will see the indomitable courage of the human spirit. Thanks brave lady for sharing your story.