I picked up The Glass Castle for my book group. I had seen it around, but hadn’t been particularly drawn to the summary. Did I really want to relax by reading about the hard life of another person? I’ve never been a huge fan of the tragic memoir genre.
As I was reading The Glass Castle it was really difficult to remember that it was a true story. The life of Jeannette was so far outside my own experience it was hard to believe that someone’s life could be like this. Parents who seemed to lack the basic understanding of what adulthood and childhood mean. People so poor they lack even the most basic necessities. Can people really survive a life like this?
The writing in this book is phenomenal. You’re quickly drawn into the story. You pull for people you know you should dislike. You wonder how this could turn out well. And yet you can’t stop reading.
Somehow Jeannette survived all of this. Somehow her talent and hard work helped her get out of that world.
The Glass Castle is a tragic story, but it is beautifully written. As much as there is a guilt in enjoying reading a story like this, I do think it’s important to tell the stories not just of the rich and beautiful, but also of the poor. This is Jeannette’s story and she’s chosen to tell it. The book is well worth a read.