The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Imagine being a grown, successful woman in New York City and seeing your very own mother digging through the trash. Would you be able to come to terms with the fact that that’s how you lived your life until now? In The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, she grew up moving cities far more often than the normal American. Her alcoholic father, her free spirit mother, and her three siblings just barely got by from odd job money and scrounging for food.
Jeannette and her siblings took care of themselves. Both their mother and father had issues and were never much of a parental guidance to any of the four kids. Jeannette’s father spent the little money they had to feed his raging alcoholic self. He made many promises to the kids such as building the exquisite “glass castle”, a mansion built only from glass. Most of these promises never came true. Eventually, Jeannette moves to New York City and fulfills her dream of becoming a writer. Will she ever come to terms with her childhood?
I noticed that Jeannette Walls used a very descriptive writing style. In the beginning of each chapter she fully described the setting and it gave me a very good image in my head of what exactly was going on. For example, “After crossing the Mississippi, we swung north toward Kentucky, then east. Instead of the flat desert edged by craggy mountains, the land rolled and dipped like a sheet when you shook it clean. Finally, we entered hill country, climbing higher and deeper into the Appalachian Mountains, stopping from time the time to let the Oldsmobile catch its breath on the steep, twisting roads.” Page 130. She used personification when saying they let the car catch its breath. Also when she talked about the rolling and dipping mountains. She also used a similie when comparing the mountains to a sheet being shook out. I like the word choices, such as “craggy” and “steep, twisting”. I notice that the sentences are not very short but they don’t run on either.
I rate The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls four stars. I definitely think it’s an appropriate book for young adults, within reason. I would say that the audience should be 15 and up because there is times in the book when it talks about rape and even the alcohol abuse may be a little much for anyone below 15. I wouldn’t recommend this book to someone who likes a lot of action because this book can get slow at times. There is not always something happening at every point in the book.

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