Monday, September 20, 2010

The Glass Castle Review

The Glass Castle is an easy read and one of those books that you must finish because you can't wait to find out how it all pans out.  It's a true story, which makes your jaw drop almost the whole time you're reading it.

I said I would give you my opinion on it when I was finished reading it, so if you haven't read the book yet and don't want the ending spoiled, I wouldn't read any farther than this!

My heart broke as I read this book, it was so hard to believe that children can be so neglected by their parents. I have a very hard time hearing or reading anything about child neglect and when I got half way through the book, I wasn't sure if I could read anymore.  I actually had to force myself to continue reading because I really wanted to see how all the children turned out. I knew Jeanette obviously turned out well since she was the author.

The whole time I was reading the book, all I could think of was how the parents were a cancer that would infect anything or anyone they came in contact with.  The children had to raise the parents because the parents weren't responsible enough to raise their own kids.  I know Jeanette and her siblings loved their parents dearly, but I had a hard time finding any sympathy or pity for them at all.  They turned everywhere they lived into a dump.  The children had 2 choices, they could fight in any way they knew how to pull themselves out of that dump or they could sink away into it with their parents never to escape.  I was so delighted to read that the 3 oldest children chose to swim instead of sink.  On an upside I did learn that some of my whining about things in life is so silly compared to the hardships these young children endured.  I've learned to look at things a little different. Especially food, the way they would scrape to get by like having a stick of butter being their only meal at times. Let's not talk about the lard sandwiches.

I guess you could say this book really touched me and it's a book that I will continue thinking about days and weeks to come, most likely even years.  The message and words are something I just can't shake off. You know that feeling? It just sort of stays with you.  It's a good thing, too.  My review may sound negative, but I'm glad I read the book and don't regret it.  I would recommend this book for sure. There were some very funny parts where I was laughing hysterically.  I've never had a book bring that kind of laughter out of me. 

I'll probably not read anymore of Jeannettes books any time soon, I think I need something a little more light hearted to read next.  I'll definitely read more of her books in the future though. I have one of her books called Half Broke Horses that I'll read later. 

If you've read The Glass Castle, I would love to hear more details of what you thought of it.


Tricia said...

I read this book a couple of years ago, and I remember not being able to put it down and crying through it.. Having lived in rural KY for a few of my teenage years, the story hit home, because I went to school with kids in the same,( and sometimes worse,) circumstance as Jeannette.

Jeralee said...

I read the book a couple of years ago. REALLY good book. I enjoyed it and couldn't put it down either. My mother grew up in similar circumstances, but without the mentally ill parents... however, she was subject to every kind of abuse. Sometimes food was whatever they could catch in the back yard or pond - frog legs? squirrel? She grew up in Ohio. Of the 6 kids, three have serious issues, and 3 have done alright. She got out by coming West to go to college. Has she ever had therapy because of her issues? No. Does she need it? Yes, although she will insist that she doesn't.

Anonymous said...

My daughter and I met her at the National Book Festival in DC. She was very nice.