Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Disturbing Memoir: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls


This memoir was quite a surprise for me.  I had read another of Walls's book and expected this one to be another light-hearted romp through the West.  What I found instead was a tragic tale of child abuse, neglect, and dismal poverty.

These aren't normally the types of books I like and I usually avoid them completely.  Generally, I find survivor memoirs to be full of pithy advice and sentimental inspiration.  This, though, was far different.  Walls makes no accusations against her parents, an alcoholic and a mentally disturbed mother.  Instead, she simply relates her experiences as they occurred and lets the reader gets furious and heart-broken for her.  I especially liked the section on her West Virginia childhood.  With family near that area, I can confirm the unbelievable poverty and I like that Walls treated the hill people with respect, rather than ridicule as so often happens lately.

If you like memoirs, you're sure to like this one.  There is no advice, but one is sure to get plenty of inspiration from hearing her tale.

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