Imagine gazing out the window of a taxi in the middle of the city. You see a homeless woman pawing through the garbage.
You recognize her instantly.
It’s your mother.
Jeannette Walls does not need to use her imagination to conjure such a scene. This is her life. Her parents
- living on the street.
- Refusing her help.
As Walls stares out the window, the chaos of her childhood closes in.
She remembers a man and a woman devoted to each other but totally incapable of comprehending the basics of parenting.
“Mom told us we would have to go shoplifting,” Jeanette wrote in The Glass Castle, “Isn’t that a sin?" I asked Mom.
Not exactly," Mom said. "God doesn’t mind you bending the rules a little if you have a good reason. It’s sort of like justifiable homicide. This is justifiable pilfering.”
The Glass Castle is
- sometimes wild and wacky.
- other times profoundly sad.
Most riveting is the unveiling of the art of “the skedaddle". When the rent is way past due, Jeannette’s dad gathers the family and flees in the middle of the night. Prized possessions get left behind. The family “skedaddles” from town to town. Eventually, the move into a rickety shack on the top of the hill.
Read The Glass Castle.
It just may be the literary shove you need to get off your high horse of parental pedigree.
Some kids grow up with no childhood at all.
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.