The Glass Castle Book and Movie Review:
Author: Jeannette Walls
Movie date: August 11th, 2017
I personally loved both the book and movie. Jeannette Walls’s childhood story is the epitome of a nothing to something story. Having unreliable parents can damage a child. Some recover and become highly successful and some don’t. “The Glass Castle” is the transparent palace that Walls’s father often promised to build for his children functions as a metaphor for another fanciful construct, the carefree facade with which two people who were (to say the least) unsuited to raise children camouflaged their struggle to survive in a world for which they were likewise ill-equipped. Her father, Rex, is an alcoholic, and her mother, Rose Mary, a painter and artist. they live at the house for years as it falls further into disarray and Rex refuses to repair it. Their only money comes from the odd jobs Rex finds, and the infrequent checks Rose Mary receives from an oil company leasing a piece of property she owns. The children resort to dumpster diving to survive. Jeannette begs her mother to leave her father so they can go on welfare, but her mother refuses. Eventually Rose Mary takes a teaching job after a man from child protective services pays them a visit. The children believe their lives will change after their mother has work, but their money continues to evaporate and their mother suffers nervous breakdowns from the stresses of teaching.
The summer Jeanette is thirteen, her mother leaves to take teaching classes and her sister is away on scholarship. Jeanette gives her father some of the money her mother has left her to run the household. She ends up unwittingly working with her father in a pool hustling scam where she is groped and nearly raped by a much older man, then refuses to participate in any more of her father’s schemes. In an effort to find money, she lands her first real job, working at a jewelry store. After graduating from college in New York, Jeannette gets an internship at a newspaper. She encourages Brian to join her and Lori in New York, and he agrees. When her youngest sister Maureen is twelve, Lori asks her to move in with them as the house in Welch is on the verge of being condemned; Maureen readily agrees. A short while later, Jeannette gets a call from Rose Mary who tells her that she and Rex have moved to the city to be with their children. Though Lori and Brian try to help their parents, they must eventually ban them from their apartments. The parents become homeless and end up living in abandoned buildings. When Maureen enters her twenties, she moves back in with them. A fight eventually breaks out between Maureen and Rose Mary, and Maureen tries to stab Rose Mary. She is arrested and forced to spend a year in a mental institution. When she is released, she decides to move to California. A few years later, Rex calls Jeannette and tells her that he is dying. He dies a few weeks later. Years later, the family gathers on Thanksgiving where they toast Rex.
Their childhood wasn’t easy. Yet, they seem to overcome enough of the struggle to become great adults. I loved the book more than the movie, but the story was a great one.
To purchase The Glass Castle, click on link below.