The Glass Castle is a memoir by journalist Jeannette Walls about her family and childhood. Her parents rejected societal norms, which was often detrimental to the Walls children but also beneficial in its own ways. Jeannett’s father was a genius who helped accelerate the education of his children, but also an alcoholic without any money management skills and constantly on the run from the bill collectors. Her mother was a free spirit with a passion for art and excitement - though her art often took priority over providing food and caring for her children. The unique circumstances of their childhood forced Jeannette and her siblings to learn to fend for themselves, whether that was getting jobs at a young age or moving to New York to escape their family.
I thought this book was sort of meh. It was a pretty interesting story, but I didn’t feel like it did anything better than two books that felt similar - Educated by Tara Westover and Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. I did find the fact that the author’s father was so smart but never achieved anything to be interesting. However, I was also disappointed by the way that the problems in the story were presented as individual issues rather than something more complex - at one point the author states something along the lines of “it’s easy to put food on the table if you just try”. To me, that statement made the author seem a bit ignorant and oblivious to other factors that make it difficult for people to do so. Overall, I’d give it two out of five stars. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t really good at all.