Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

2018 Challenge - Book #50 - The Glass Castle

50 books!  Half way to my goal for the year.

Today's review is for
The Glass Castle
Author: Jeannette Walls
Pages: 288

This is the true story of the author's childhood.  Jeannette and her 3 siblings grew up with transient parents who moved them all over the country.  They never had much money, her dad was an alcoholic, and her mother only cared about herself.  Neither of her parents ever held down jobs for more than a few months, and the children often went hungry.  Left alone for most of their lives, Jeannette and her siblings needed to learn how to care for themselves.

The family finally lands in Welch, West Virginia where the kids finally escape their lives.  After living in a shack that didn't have indoor plumbing and holes in the ceiling, and no heat, Jeannette and her older sister and younger brother escape to New York City after high school to go to college and get jobs.  All three of them find jobs and for the first time in their lives they had a steady income, a roof over their heads, and safety.  They are able to save enough money to have their youngest sister join them and finish high school in NYC - just to get her away from her parents.  A few months of all 4 of them in NYC, and the parents drive up to join them.  No matter how hard the children try - they cannot escape their parents.  All 4 of them refuse to let the parents stay with them - knowing what it would mean if they did - and the parents remain homeless for 3 years before finally finding an apartment to squat in. 

This was a great book.  Knowing that these children lived in these conditions was unbelievable.  My aunt and uncle actually lived in Welch for awhile - taught there and had Jeannette as a student.  These kids grew up in terrible conditions - having barely enough to eat one meal a day, sometimes not even that.  Child Protective Services was only called one time, and they never followed up.  So easy for kids like this to be invisible.

I am anxious to watch the movie to see if it is like the book.  I highly recommend reading this and see how these kids did get out of this situation and made something of themselves.  There are so many families who are the poorest of the poor who cannot escape the cycle.  IT seems easy to get out - but it isn't.  So for three of the 4 children to make something of themselves after what they grew up with, is significant indeed.

Stars: 4 1/2

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