The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

I finished The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls¬†yesterday and I have been sort of haunted by it. (I’m obsessed with memoir lately…I think they make me grateful for my childhood and conscious of the one i’m creating for my own kids.)

I have decided that this particular memoir stands out to me because the author actually transported me in way that I had to struggle with loving/hating her parents. I feel like they are people in my life and I’m saying one minute, “this act was just absolutely unforgivable…i cannot forgive him/her” and then “wait a minute, what about this beautiful moment. does this redeem them for me?”

Also, the reading of this and other memoirs has confirmed my notion that currently the trend is to overindulge our children to the extreme and it is a daily fight to hold back the tide of materialism that threatens to undo our family-ness. (just us and Jesus is enough)

I want my children to bond with each other the way that these children did, but somehow without the trauma that caused them to hold so tightly to each other. is that impossible? Surely, the owning of so much junk gets in the way of their ability to improvise and share with one another. I want them to work with each other to dig a huge hole, to save a large amount of money for one common cause, to protect their youngest sibling or to discover a wonderful place to live. These are all things that the older three children in The Glass Castle did, but they were in response to or in spite of constant turmoil in their home. Ii want mine to do it even in the midst of a happy childhood.


  1. Surely you know how precious you are! How I always enjoy these windows into your mind.

    I spent yesterday with friends in NW Arkansas. What a blessing for such a sweet reprieve from mommy & wife (I wish to also find reprieve from pregnancy at times too!). I was considering on the drive how being a wife and mother ages each of us which led me to ponder why that’s so. My conclusion… because we are called to dig SO much deeper within ourselves for even the smallest of tasks. The danger is that at times we can be consumed with digging deeper and forget how to play and laugh with ease. Maturity is a scary thing at times I think!

  2. … but, of course, that is impossible… your children will have a happy childhood — but trauma (suffering) is what will grow in them the character that chooses to fight for each other against the world (or their parents) i’ve just come from my small group and we’re in the middle of allender’s book … you must go back and read again “the biblical pattern for parenting is strewn with mystery, paradox, failure, redemption, and reconciliation.” and you don’t have to create any suffering (trauma); it will visit your home uninvited… and it’s there your children will get to know God, just as we all have – that’s when they will bond with other people (including their siblings) on this journey … that’s the part that undoes me… i know what’s it taken for me to really want to know God and walk with him, what it still takes… do i want my children to experience any of that? of course not, i want them to get there without any of the suffering, brought at their own hand or by someone else…doesn’t work that way though.

    I’m new at this blogging thing. hope i haven’t said too much – feels like i have — oh well, we’ll see!

  3. I love it. What wonderful questions to struggle with… My favorite books are always the ones where the characters become part of my life–and stay that way. Good or bad. Both is even better. I admire you tremendously–thank you so much for starting this blog. I can’t wait to read more!

  4. […] bon anniversaire March 15, 2008 Filed under: blogs, life — alison @ 12:00 pm Tags: blogging, blogs, my blog just turned one!, writing i started this blog one year ago. […]

  5. […] Also, I think her oft-used phrase That would be a good trick is going to move right up in my world in the same way the phrase It’s time to do the skedaddle has forever become a part of my vernacular with friends who have also read the story of the Walls’ family. […]

  6. We read that for book club a while back and it really haunted me too. One of those books you love/hate to me. I blogged yesterday but not on my main blog- on my book and cooking one, so guess that counts?

  7. […] Broke Horses is sort of a prequel to one of my very favorite books, The Glass Castle.¬† The stories from Jeannette Walls’ grandmother’s life are enjoyable and hair-raising […]

  8. I changed the title of the post today when I linked back to it and for some reason in came up in my reader as new.


    Because it’s super old. It’s actually my first post!

    Definitely counts Michelle!!

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