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Friday, October 21, 2011
Book Review: The Glass Castle
I love this book. I'm half way through and have slowed down considerably because I don't want it to end. The following is a review from Goodreads:
Jeannette Walls 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 and 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 might last forever.Later, when the 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 its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.
For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to MSNBC.com, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.
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I am a writer, educator, musician, and ex-small business owner, living and writing in Vermont I am passionate about writing, women's issues, the arts, and life in general. I love to blog.
When I first picked up this book for review, I thought that I would be getting an inspirational romance. How wrong I was. And, I am in no way, disappointed. Romance is my preferred genre, but I do dabble in others. I’m glad I got this one. I was also a little put off by the title, but once I read the book I understood and think it was a great choice for her to use it.
Courage of Fear is a hauntingly powerful inspirational fiction novel that will toy with your emotions in ways you cannot fathom. Cleverly written and deftly portrayed, Barbara Boyer creates unforgettable characters with an intense plot-line. Her extensive vocabulary and understanding of the human condition makes for a great read.
The main character in the book, Angela, at one time was an author. At the beginning of each chapter was a segment from her book the character supposedly wrote. I thought this to be an excellent choice. It made the book stand apart from the rest and only added to the potency of the story. The ending, (don’t worry- I won’t spoil it), was phenomenal. I wasn’t expecting that at all. If you’re in the mood for a good laugh, cry, or intellectually stimulating read, I suggest you pick up Courage of Fear.
Reviewer: Kelly Moran, Author
Wonderful book...can't put it down. I'm writing a memoir and reading as many memoirs as I can. This one is great...she's such a good writer. This book has been very helpful to me as a memoir writer, especially in that it is a wonderful example of a writer infusing their memoir with their honest and authentic voice. That has been a challenge for me, but with thought and time and also with lots of blogging I have opened up and have been able to fill the written page with my true voice...not always...but I'm working on it.
So far I find the book wildly imaginative, entertaining and somewhat laborious to read. It's not the kind of book you can skim through or completely relax with, while reading. You have to be alert and ready for twists and turns and an extremely creative story line. Neither is it the kind of book you read in bed at night to make you sleepy. It's like very contemporary modern art...intriguing and original. Henehan plays around with and has great fun with the language, which at times becomes somewhat tedious.