Friday, June 14, 2013

Book Review: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Having heard so much about this memoir in the past couple of years - mostly good things - I knew that I'd have to read it. To be honest, it sat on my bookshelf, having been given to me as a Christmas gift, for a good year and a half before it finally became the lucky next book that I picked up to read.

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The problem is, now that I've finally read the darn thing, I'm having a difficult time deciding what to say about it. Was the writing good? Yes. Was the story interesting? Yes.

Unfortunately, this being a memoir, I think the proper question is: Was the story *believable*? And unfortunately, the best answer I can give that one is "not really".

Honestly, I had a pretty darn good childhood, but there were definitely things that my parents chose to do that I look back and seriously disagree with. Sometimes it's hard to look back and not feel a bit of...well, "resentment" probably isn't the right word, but it's the first one that comes to mind. Now, I was worried that perhaps I was just being jaded and cynical when I kept thinking "this 'memoir' has to be exaggerated - either that or Ms. Walls is lying to us and/or herself about how well she has coped with her terrible, awful, no-good, very bad childhood". But then I perused some Amazon reviews (mostly three-star ones, as I find those to be the most useful, honest, and informational) and saw that many others felt the same way.

Of course it's natural that we never quite remember things exactly as they happened. Still, all I can say is that if Ms. Walls truly experienced everything that happened in The Glass Castle - to the extent that she described these events - and if she is actually as happy and healthy as she claims to be at the end of the book - then kudos to her. Because to be completely honest, I can't understand how things turned out that well for her, and therefore have to call this 'memoir' at least a bit of an exaggeration - no matter how well it was written. 3/5 stars. Pin It

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