The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle

A Memoir

Book - 2009
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The child of an alcoholic father and an eccentric artist mother discusses her family's nomadic upbringing, during which she and her siblings fended for themselves while their parents outmaneuvered bill collectors and the authorities.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2009
ISBN: 9780743247542
Characteristics: 288 p. ; 24 cm


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Jul 05, 2017

The Glass Castle is amazing. Every so often I would exclaim "OH MY GOSH" or "WHAT" or feel tears collecting at the corners of my eyes. Walls has shared her story with the world in a beautiful way, no matter how ugly the reality of her circumstances may have been. Her prose is so engaging, and I do not remember a time when I was bored or waiting for a section to finish. Her voice pulls at the heartstrings and also uplifts. I'm so glad I read this book.

May 18, 2017

What an absolutely beautiful book. Jeannette Walls is an exceptional storyteller who gets into all the little details of every scene. This is the very first book that has made me scrunch my brows, gasp, and almost cry. You will hate this book and everyone in it, but at the same time, your heart will shatter at the obstacles the Walls family must go through. I had very mixed feelings throughout the book, but I believe that this is necessary for the book to be loved.

kathybajorek Mar 31, 2017

One of my very favourite memoirs and favourite books. I was captivated from from the very first page .....

AL_ELIZABETH Nov 16, 2016

Painful and at the same time splendorous biography, where its author transports you and makes you feel many emotions. It is a shocking memoir.

Nov 09, 2016

This was an incredible autobiography. It was such a gripping, motivational story that hit all emotions. Definitly an amazing read that will take you less then 3 days to read.

Oct 01, 2016

Kept my interest from the beginning with interesting characters.

Jun 25, 2016

Wow, what a story. Almost too crazy to be true. Overtime, the crazy life and adventure turns all to real for the children of two very smart but at the same time messed up parents. The children did pretty well for themselves in the end, but I was amazed that the parents could ignore sexual assault on their kids.

This is a great memoir that takes you on a wild growing up adventure all across America.

Feb 26, 2016

Please read this book! One of the best memoirs of what it's like to grow up in a dysfunctional family. Rare is the book that grabs me from the first page and won't let me put it down. An early part of the story takes place in Arizona. Teens will relate to the author's feelings of shame, isolation, and "otherness" caused by living with alcoholic and mentally ill parents, who despite their flaws, make efforts to make their children feel special and loved. Adults who grew up with parents like this will feel a kinship with the author and can walk away feeling good about being not just survivors, but people who grew and thrived. UPDATE: Film adaptation of Walls's memoir premiers Friday, Aug. 11th. Even as a child, the author is defined by her own grit, resilience, imagination, and ability to ignore the taunts of others while surviving her neglectful parents. Her deeply flawed parents - alcoholism and mental illness - are grifters who never provide a lasting and secure home for their children, let alone the "glass castle" their father promises.

Jan 21, 2016

Captivating book! If you like the pioneering spirit of Little House on the Prairie, except with a dysfunctional Ma & Pa Ingalls in the 20th century, you will like this biography. Note: this audio version is not the one that is read by the author, which was published by Simon & Schuster.

Jan 19, 2016

Really good biography for teens & adults so they will appreciate their own childhood. It needs to be elaborated a bit in 1/2 of the books to deeply involve readers' feelings.

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Add Age Suitability

May 18, 2017

jmli thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Aug 15, 2015

ecarr1212 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Nov 17, 2014

MADKC4Ever thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

ellegibson Jul 17, 2014

ellegibson thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

orange_squirrel_4 Aug 23, 2013

orange_squirrel_4 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Ninja_Kevin Jun 17, 2012

Ninja_Kevin thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


Add a Summary

May 18, 2017

The story revolves mostly around the childhood of the author. It describes the nomadic lifestyle of the Walls and how the children have learned to grow without their parents' support. The Glass Castle is mainly telling the dysfunctional connections in this dysfunctional family.

Jun 19, 2015

A journalist remembers her challenging, unconventional and impoverished childhood & the family with whom she shared these challenges.

Bonavista May 06, 2011

I loved that she went through so much as a child and teenager but still held the faith the whole time and came out of it. I think, a better person for it.

carlakacz May 03, 2011

This was a very intriguing book to read, a glimpse into someones life that is almost unbelievable.

Feb 16, 2011

Remarkable memoir of resilence and redemption and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeanette's brillant and charismatic father catured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishones and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn't want the responsibility of raising a family. The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed and protected one another and eventually found their way to New York.Their parents followed them choosing to be homeless even as their children propsered.


Add Notices

Aug 04, 2017

Coarse Language: Jeanette's father does tend to cuss frequently.

May 18, 2017

Sexual Content: 2 somewhat sexual scenes in regards to the protagonist.


Add a Quote

May 18, 2017

"It's the Joshua tree's struggle that gives it its beauty." - Rose Mary Wells

Nov 17, 2014

"I'm not upset because I'll miss you," Mom said. "I'm upset because you get to go to New York and I'm stuck here. It's not fair."

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