The Glass Castle
by Jeannette Walls
PBR Review: This is a powerful read and not just because it's an incredible rag to riches story. Jeannette Wall's clean, straightforward writing style allows the reader to experience her life as if you are embroiled in the middle of it. More amazing is the lack of judgment. She presents her life and extremely dysfunctional parents in a manner that is even, noncommittal and insightful. Her father is an alcoholic dreamer, her mother irresponsible, their lifestyle is nomadic and poverty stricken, yet because I am seeing them through Jeannette's eyes, I did not feel intense hatred for them. Instead, I saw them as deeply flawed and human, but also possessing a certain amount of charm and appeal.

Of course, as Jeannette matures, her perception of her parents change, and it's sad to witness. My only criticism is at times it felt repetitive, the constant neglect, the father losing another job, picking up in the middle of the night to flee the bill collectors, the self-absorbed mother. Then I realize, someone lived this life and survived. This is an amazing story. In summary, a must read to those who enjoy a good memoir, but will also appeal to those who like character driven novels and a good story. I know I'm late in reading this one, it has been on my list for ages; I am so glad I finally got around to it.

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