The Glass Castle by Jeannette WallsA tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that, despite its profound flaws, gave the author the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.
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 childrens imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldnt 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.
5 Things You Need to Know About "The Glass Castle"
Published in , the book was a runaway bestseller that's sold more than 5 million copies and was on The New York Times Bestseller List for more than five years. While it seemed obvious that a movie version would hit screens shortly after the film rights sold in , the project proved elusive. Early on, Claire Danes had been attached to star but dropped out. Later Jennifer Lawrence signed on to star and produce, but that project never made it to the finish line either. The family moved constantly, fleeing bill collectors and landlords, their living conditions growing steadily worse until they eventually wound up in a rotting old house without electricity or running water. The manner in which she portrays her father is often very affectionate, even when as an adult, she found herself denying the existence of her parents, who were living in New York City as homeless squatters. Walls has openly mused that despite the pain and suffering that drove her to leave home when she was 17 to put herself through college, she likely developed the self-reliance and whip-smart brainpower to become a successful writer because of the way she was raised, rather than in spite of it.
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It is based on Jeannette Walls ' best-selling memoir of the same name. The Glass Castle was released on August 11, , by Lionsgate and received mixed reviews from critics. They praised the performances of its cast particularly Larson and Harrelson but criticized the emotional tones and adaptation. When questioned about her family by them, Jeannette lies by saying her mother is a successful painter and her father is working on a new technological breakthrough. After dinner, David sees Jeannette off in a cab. During the ride, the taxi is stopped abruptly by a drunk man in the middle of the road. Jeannette, in the back seat, turns her head to see her mother Rose Mary Naomi Watts dumpster diving.