Jeannette Walls has captured the spirit of resiliency in The Glass Castle. As a character herself (it is an autobiography), Jeannette provides us with an inside view of life in a family that doesn’t fit the norm. Without really passing judgement on her parents, Jeannette allows us to see her childhood through her eyes.
There is a compassion in her story that I find refreshing and rare. In my opinion, this woman has every right to be bitter. Instead, she shares her story in a way that allows readers to question: Should someone have intervened? Jeannette never claims to wish that someone had. In fact, the times when social services are involved in their lives, Walls herself impedes the process. She never lies to social services, but she provides them with a spin on her life that doesn’t force their hand in pursuing in the process.
Her story is not one of wicked abuse. Her story is one of parents who just did not seem up to parenting in the way that some of us may hope for parents to act. However, her parents instilled in her some important facets that those with “good” parenting may never have.
This book is worth a first reading for sure, and it may require a second or a third. It is rich, full of hope, and one of the best books that I have ever read.