The Glass Castle
by Jeannette Walls (2005)
I could not put this journalist’s memoir down; Walls’ story of a chaotic childhood is mesmerizing. She’s one of four children born to Rex, a brilliant but alcoholic father, and Rose Mary, a disinterested—and possibly mentally ill—mother.
The family moved around the U.S., living in extreme poverty. But the children got through it thanks to the love and support of each other. When their father was sober, he taught them physics and geology. Their mother taught them about art. When the kids grew up and moved to New York (where Walls became a gossip columnist for MSNBC.com), their parents followed. One night, Walls saw a homeless woman on a New York street and realized it was her mother.
The book is about the resilience of children and the bonds of family. The dynamic between Walls and her father in particular brought me to tears. You hope this family finds peace—and, ultimately, it does. -Jennifer Walker, Senior Content Editor