Sunday, February 19, 2012

Book 10 - The Glass Castle

My boss recommended that I read "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls, I am not sure that I would recommend it to anyone else. That is not to say that the book is not extremely well written or that the story is not riveting, but it is quite heartbreaking to read. 

We first meet Jeannette when she is three years old and she has burned herself on the stove cooking hot dogs for herself. She ends up with quite severe burns and once shes returns home, her parents are proud of her for going back to cooking and not being afraid of the fire. To say that her parents have unconventional ideas about parenting is an understatement.

On the surface, the father is a drunk and the mother is an eccentric hoarder, there is really more to it than that but then again there is not. At times, the father Rex is quite brilliant, even faking his way into electrician jobs without the proper training. He reads many books on physics and science and has big plans to one day build a glass castle, which is a home built all of glass that uses solar energy to power it. He also has many other big ideas and plans and refuses to settle into the 9-5 drudgery at great detriment to his own family.

The mother, Mary-Rose dreams of being an artist. She is trained as a teacher but rarely works as such, even when her children are foraging in the garbage to find food. She allows the father to take much of their earnings to spend on booze and gambling, and lets him drag them from place to place avoiding bill collectors (although he spins fancier tales that the FBI or the Mob is onto them).

The book moves from tale to tale, most are quite horrible. For this reason I would not recommend reading this book. I don't see much of a reason to subject oneself to reading someone else's It did make me appreciate my childhood more, although mine was not perfect it was a million times better than Jeannette Walls'.

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