Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Biography, Memoir
Jeanette Walls didn't have to be very old to realize that her family was odd. One of her earliest memories is of cooking hot dogs when she was three and setting herself on fire. After a skin graft and while she recovers in the hospital, she explains how much she likes the 'quiet and order' there and how different it is from her home. This is just one memory, in a series of many compelling memories that tells the story of her life.
Born into a family with a father who was a drunk, and a mother who wished she could be free of responsibility, Jeanette learned to be self reliant from a very early age. Due to the fact that her father was an inventor, a man who disliked normal society, and could not keep a job for long, and her mother would only do what she wanted, Jeanette and her siblings often had to find ways to keep themselves from starving. Although when there was money there were good times, the money didn't often last long, and so their family would often struggle to pay for things like the electricity bill. Moving from place to place throughout her childhood, this memoir tells of the hardships her family suffered, and how she worked her way up to where she is today.
To say the least, Jeanette Walls' The Last Castle is extremely powerful. While I was hesitant to read it, as I am not a real fan of biographies or memoirs, I'm glad I did. The Glass Castle belongs in a group of its own.