Glass Castles

This book is Jeannette Walls’ insane memoir, describing the her crazy childhood with nomadic parents. Walls describes incidents such as being three and (accidentally) setting herself on fire while cooking hotdogs. Her parents subsequently ‘rescued’ her from the hospital and applauded her for ‘getting back on the horse’ when she made hotdogs for herself a few days after coming home from the hospital. She grows up in desperate poverty, at times not having electricity, heat, or hot water. Yet you increasingly realize that its a self-imposed poverty (by her parents), in that her mother has a teaching degree yet refuses to work most of the time because she wants to be an artist. Her dad is very intelligent, but blows money on booze and can’t keep a job. They give up living for free in an inherited house for unknown reasons and don’t bother to rent it out for income. The list goes on. My main take away from this book was thank god for the free lunch program we have today, so kids don’t have to dig through the trash after lunch to eat like the Walls did when she grew up.

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