The woman at the used bookstore by my house recommended The Glass Castle as “a book for people who don’t even like to read.”
I flipped through the first few pages and didn’t buy it, but I couldn’t get the first image — a woman in New York looking out of her taxi window and seeing her homeless mom rummaging through a dumpster — out of my head, so the next day I went back and coughed up the $7.
I love this book; it’s one of the best I’ve read this year and I’ve been reading a lot.
It’s about four kids and the extremely capricious, bright, destitute parents who drag them all over the country. Narrated by Jeannette Walls, the middle sister, these plucky little Dickensian kids made me want to live in their dirt-poor reality.
The Glass Castle is also a lesson in how to write a memoir. So often people think that if they write a bunch of horrible things that happened to them, other people will automatically relate.
It’s the resilience in the face of misery that people are relating to, though, not the misery.