A Glass Castle is a memoir detailing the Walls family. Rex Walls loves his kids. He teaches them how to survive in the wilderness, to dream big and to be tough. When money is tight one Christmas, he gifts his children with the stars. His maddening love for his children is only eclipsed by his love of the bottle. Mary Walls is an artist. She teaches her kids that the only boundaries in life are the ones you create yourself and that being an adult, a mother, is really a matter of choice not a responsibility. Together, Rex and Mary Walls create squalor conditions for their four children. As a result, the Walls live a nomad life; they travel from one city to the next, sleeping in their car and skipping meals when they can’t afford anything to eat. Jeanette chronicles the life of her family as they fight to stay together but grow apart at the same time.
A Glass Castle is not your typical story of survival and resilience, it’s a story about love as well. When I first picked up the novel and read the synopsis I thought to myself, she must really hate her parents. I assumed that the memoir would be a breakdown of her parents’ shortcomings and how she overcame the adversity in her life but it really was nothing like that. Despite the hard life that the Walls lived, Jeanette loved her parents. Yes, they lived an unconventional life, no they never received the best of everything but they still survived. The only thing they ever had to give was each other and that turned out to be enough.
A Glass Castle is not a story of a scarred woman, it’s a story of a resilient woman who loves her family and shared their unconventional love and life through the best way she can – a story.