The Glass Castle: A Memoir

A story of life


Emma Sanders, Copy Editor

The Glass Castle is a masterfully created memoir by best selling author Jeannette Walls, which examines the familial dysfunction that composed Walls’ childhood, and the experiences that have shaped her life in unimaginable ways.

The Glass Castle is not a single continuous story, but rather a collection of stories taken from unique moments in Walls’ life. These moments range from age three, through adulthood; taking Walls’ life from cooking hotdogs and emergency room breakouts, to a successful journalism career on Park Avenue in New York.

Many people read books because they want to explore places and go on adventures that they otherwise could not do in their own life. The Glass Castle is possible one of the most exciting books I have ever read. From the outskirts of Virginia, to untamed deserts of Arizona, and all of the homes in between, The Glass Castle is not a book that likes to sit still.

Despite the neglect and unconventionality of Walls’ parents, Walls never writes them to be bad people. In fact, Walls explains her parents in ways that are so unique and charming, that it is nearly impossible for the reader to dislike them. The Glass Castle is filled with beautiful moments in Walls’ crazy life, from looking up at the stars, to looking down on her parent’s choices of life. This book is not only about the magic of life, but about how we handle the parts that are not magical. Walls answers this question in a most beautiful and honest way, but she does not answer it with words. Rather, her life speaks for her.

While The Glass Castle is written in a very charming style, not everything in it is charming, which makes sense since no life is always a fairytale. Walls truly captures the human struggle, and what we do to survive. More impressively, Walls does this from the perspective of a child, of an adult, of someone lost in the chaos of this world. Not from the perspective of a soldier, or a national hero, but rather as the hero of her own life.

The Glass Castle is one of the few books I have read that actually relates to the reader in topics of the human struggle, of growing into your confusion, and growing up into a adventures in life, instead of out of them. This is a great book; one I would recommend for anyone living life at any age.