The Glass Castle

★★★★✩

by Jeannette Walls, 2005

Blurb:
The glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette’s brilliant and charismatic father captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest 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 prospered.


  • Jeannette Walls is a great storyteller, but one of the annoying things about her style is that she likes to cut a chapter off right when something big happens, but then never gets around to resolving that point. This drove me crazy.

  • It’s really amazing how creative people can get when they’re in a financial rut. Walls is definitely one person who will never have to worry during our current economic recession.
  • It kind of irked me a bit that as a college student, Walls was willing to defend her family…so long as it didn’t require her to admit that that family is actually hers.
  • All and all, really great book. It doesn’t try too hard and words come really naturally to Walls.