The Glass Castle by Jeannette WallsA tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that, despite its profound flaws, gave the author the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.
Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his childrens imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldnt stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an excitement addict. Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.
Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.
What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.
For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story.
THE GLASS CASTLE BY JEANNETTE WALLS // Book Review and Discussion
The Glass Castle true story confirms that Rex Walls, who is portrayed by Woody Harrelson in the movie, constantly moved his family every few months to different parts of California and Arizona to avoid debt collectors. It wasn't until Jeannette was seven and her father had a stable job at a mining company that they enjoyed any sense of stability, but it didn't last long. In the first ten years of her life, Jeannette's family moved at least 20 times.
The Glass Castle (2017)
But it was also one filled with joy, pride and deep love. I was so wrong. People understood, sometimes better than I did. One wanted to turn it into a romantic comedy, another wanted to play up the celebrity angle, most wanted to set it in the present, complete with cellphones and Twitter battles. Years passed, producers came and went, and I accepted the idea that my story was stuck in development purgatory. Several called it the worst experience in their lives.