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The Glass Castle: A Memoir

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Jeannette Walls

Narrated By: Jeannette Walls

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date: September 2010

Duration: 10 hours 28 minutes

Summary:

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 children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't 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. A regular contributor to MSNBC.com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.

Genres:

  • Anonymous

    Loved, Loved it. It gives a whole new perspective to the saying "glass half full". I was intrigued and looked forward to listening to it every day. Good ending as well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • S Nelson

    Loved this book and hated to have it end. It's hard to imagine how difficult life must have been for these four kids and yet it's a well told account of a soul that triumphed against adversity. Jeanette Walls sounds like an amazing woman.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Melissa E

    One if my favorite books! Funny and endearing at the same time. Truthfully in read this one and didn't listen to the audio version but I love when authors read their own work. So that is why I'm giving it 5 stars.

  • Wendy S

    I could not stop listening to this book! It was so powerful.

  • Kelley L

    Great story. It kept me interested the entire book.

  • Stephanie S

    Incredible story. It gave me an interesting new perspective on poverty and people. I had to keep reminding myself that it is a memoir and not a fictional story.

  • jean D

    Hard to believe that parents would live like this and treat their children like this.

  • Alex D

    Fascinating and horrifying! You can't believe what you are hearing and can't fathom that it is based on truth.

  • leslie W

    Very interesting, great book. Can't wait to see the movie. Love the audio, I'm in the hospital and I need something to do.

  • Sherrie H

    Couldn't stop listening!