Paperspine Blog

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls by lipstickblogger
September 3, 2008, 12:50 pm
Filed under: Lipstick Blogger

Everyone has a story, a past, experiences that for better or worse make them who they are. My husband and I recently celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. We were out celebrating and were in a trendy new bar that was packed full of people when I asked him, “don’t you wonder what the story is behind some of these people?” He looked at me somewhat quizzically and said, “not really.”

My husband says I am nosey, however I would rather think of it as just curious.  I just love learning about people. Take me, on the surface I appear to be a rather boring suburban mother of two young boys. I work part-time, write this blog, married to a great guy, blah, blah, blah. I am sure that that I have put some of you to bed by now, but if I was to really tell you my story it would include some of the following. I am a first generation American. My dad was born in Hungary in the late 30’s. He was Jewish and in order to flee Hitler’s regime him and his family had to leave everything behind and board a ship to Cuba to escape persecution. Fast forward about 30 years and he was working for Boeing as an international salesman when he met my mom on a business trip to Brazil. Two weeks later they were married and for better or worse, almost 40 years later they are still married. More interesting huh? Well, at least I think so. 🙂

Since everyone has a story to tell and since I love hearing them so much, this is one of the many reasons why I loved my most recent read, “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls so much. This is a memoir of Jeannette’s tumultuous childhood. As the second oldest of four children and the daughter of Rex a brilliant man, yet a severe alcoholic and Rose-Mary an eccentric artist suffering from manic depression she endured many hardships and overcame tremendous obstacles.

Her memoir begins with Jeannette riding in taxi cab along Park Avenue in New York as an adult when she sees a bag lady sifting through trash only to realize that this homeless woman is her own mother. Startled by this, she returns home and the story of her childhood begins to be told. Although Walls could easily lay blame to her parents for her unusual and many would say very abusive and neglectful upbringing she approaches the book in a matter-of-fact manner. Remembering the poverty, hunger and bullying she endured while suffering from her parents blatant disregard for the children’s wellbeing. Included are stories of how she would sit in the bathrooms at lunchtime and scrounge through kids leftovers so she could eat and how she would color her skin so that her classmates couldn’t tell that she didn’t have holes in her clothes. With will and determination each of her siblings escapes to New York City where they start a life for themselves and escape the wraths of poverty only to find her parents wind up on her doorstep looking for a handout.

I found myself falling asleep with this book as I couldn’t put it down. Walls’ has turned a childhood of sadness and heartache into a work of art. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

lipstick Lipstick Blogger


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