Wednesday, November 7, 2012

New Reads:

My November book club selection is The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. It's been on my to-read list for a few years now. I've been wanting to read it but apparently, it takes my book club kind of forcing me to actually sit down and get through it. Get through it makes it sound like it isn't good, and that's misleading, because it is. I really like this book. It's a memoir. And it's dark. And I love dark.

It's been out for a while now so you've probably read it. But in case you haven't and you were wondering what it's about, here it is:

"Jeannette Wells 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 children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote couldn't 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 would last forever.

Later, when 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 all its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms."

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