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Customer Review

1,523 of 1,583 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True to Life Account, November 13, 2005
This review is from: The Glass Castle: A Memoir (Hardcover)
I grew up in Welch, WV and was acquainted with Jeanette and Brian(Lori was older and Maureen was younger). I can attest that her harrowing account of growing up with an alcoholic father and mentally ill mother in the coalfields of WV was as she says. This was a compelling read, all the more so, because it was about people and places I knew so well. As I read, I was filled with sorrow and shame because I was one of those people who didn't want to have close association with them because they were so different from me. I try to asuage my guilt by telling myself I saw things from a child's maturity level. I wish I could apologize and find myself wondering what would have happened if I had befriended Jeanette. She could have enriched my like tremendously. For those of you who doubt things could not have happened like it was written, don't. I knew it and I saw it, and to a degree, lived it. And as tragic as it was, it was true.
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Showing 1-10 of 56 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 14, 2009 2:16:21 PM PDT
canmus says:
Thanks for writing this comment. I WAS begining to doubt this story as you said, but only because of the stupid reviews one reads. Can you imagine living it and then being doubted?? How awful.

Posted on Jun 16, 2009 6:40:34 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2011 1:16:39 PM PST
2 Apples says:
You might have a chance to enrich yourself if you were of friend of them, however, she would have lost a chance to sculpture her character. It is those pains that make the strong person getting stronger. Thanks for your review. And I am very curious of how different they are from the rest of the kids in Welch besides the clothes they wore.

11/17/2011: I read the book 2 years ago and made the above comments. And I am recently listening audio book and would like to add more comments here. When I revisit the stories, I have more understanding to the Walls. Rose Mary is very wise, kind, strong, and passionate person. "mental ill" is not right to describe her.

Posted on Jan 23, 2010 8:19:47 PM PST
I enjoyed your comment and appreciate people like you. People who realize that they have made a mistake and are willing to admit it and apologize. I was treated very badly in school. I was poor and I won't talk about all of the deprivations that I suffered. I had very crooked teeth and was made fun of all through jr. high and high school. My mom taught me to ignore others when they hurt me, so I never responded to anything that was said toward me. Jeannette was much braver than I was. She was highly intelligent and so was I, but I let my grades slip horribly, because my thoughts were always on the taunting and my fear of others. Anyway, I am not writing this to have a pity party, only writing this to say, that I believed every word that Jeannette wrote, I never had a doubt. I also wish that the ones that hurt me had the sensitivity that you have and would have come forward and talked to me about the mistakes that they had made out of childish immaturity. It is a great lesson to be learned and Jeannette has truly touched my life through her honestness.

Posted on Apr 30, 2010 8:40:17 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 30, 2010 8:40:46 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 4, 2010 5:19:31 PM PDT
Susan Lloyd says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Oct 7, 2010 8:37:57 AM PDT
Cynthia says:
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I think they are helpful and touching for both abusers and victims. I think a heartfelt "I am sorry" is so healing for everyone. Bless you....

Posted on Dec 5, 2010 12:26:07 PM PST
P. Waldron says:
Becky, your honesty is refreshing. In a similar situation, few of us would admit to the feelings of guilt you express here; yet, there was nothing you could have done to have changed the lives of the Wall family; you would have risked being ostracised had you tried and for what? The influence of those bizarre parents was like a torrent which no individual could have stopped. Your recognition that frienship with Jeannette would have benefited you, rather than you improving her lot, is admirable.

Posted on Mar 19, 2011 6:05:21 PM PDT
Zimminkie says:
I have no reason to doubt this story. I also have no doubt that the Walls' parents were/are mentally ill. I should know, because I, too, have lived through similar insanity. But J. Walls doesn't seem to want to tell us much with regards to emotions, and she doesn't even mention mental illness. As another reviewer states about Wells' second book, whose words I found more than appropriate for THIS book: "the book suffers from that most modern of flaws, an inability and actually even a positive embargo on emotions and consequent moral judgments or shadings.//So, what we're left with is a book that is a great yarn, with fascinating details...told by...a skilled writer, that lacks one thing: the pulse of human feeling."

Posted on Mar 20, 2011 2:55:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 20, 2011 2:59:22 PM PDT
Renee Claire says:
Becky, don't feel bad about this. If Jeanette had been growing up with me, my parents would not have let me associate with her. What can you do in a situation like this when you're a kid? Just live it forward as an adult and be there for children growing up like that around you. Recently, we had neighbor children next door in a situation where they were really hungry. There mother didn't want those kids helped. I used to take over cereal and milk for them on weekends, even though that woman gave me the evil eye. But as a child I couldn't have done that. I can tell you are a good person. Just help the people out around you now and God bless you.

Posted on Mar 30, 2011 11:42:47 PM PDT
bellaluna13 says:
I guess I grew up in a different family. If my Italian family ever saw kids like Jeanette and her siblings, they would have been brought into our home, cleaned, fed, loved and given clothing to wear. Whatever we could spare. I know this because this is what my family did. I we EVER shunned or made fun of those less fortunate than us, heaven help the kid who met the wrath of their Italian (grand)parent!!
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