Wednesday, March 05, 2008
I am currently reading Jeannette Walls' The Glass Castle for our March Slow Travel book club. Our fearless leader, Brenda, posted a few links to a review, an interview and a reading guide. I'm only half way through the book, but I'm going to go ahead and reply to a few of the questions.
The first question in the reading guide asks: "Though The Glass Castle is brimming with unforgettable stories, which scenes were the most memorable for you? Which were the most shocking, the most inspiring, the funniest?"
- For me, one of the most shocking scenes was when Rose Mary and Rex so easily walked away from a house in Phoenix. A house that was paid for and provided ample space and free rent for their family. They walked away from that for what is shaping up to be a bleak existence in West Virginia.
- Another appalling scene is the ride in the back of the U-Haul, with the baby. Parents up front in the cab, kids shut up in the back of a truck.
- In contrast, the scene where Rex gives his kids stars for Christmas presents is touching and shows the creativity and genius that these two adults were also gifted with.
- Although I'm only 35 pages into the West Virginia part of the book, I can definitely feel a shift in tone. The book is darker...not as carefree, certainly not as happy. The children are aware of how they are viewed by others, and they are struggling to fit in. They are also starting to feel shame. It's harder to read the book, too, knowing that the children are starting to emotionally feel the effects of their parents carefree/careless attitudes. However, a few things haven't changed. The children are still resilient. And Walls doesn't attack or accuse her parents. She hasn't fallen into self-pity. As usual, she picks herself up and marches on.