The Glass Castle': Book Review Essay

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In the memoir, The Glass Castle (2005), the author Jeanette Walls writes about her life, spanning from her troubled childhood to her future move to New York City. Throughout her early years, Jeanette consistently had a difficult relationship with her parents due to them spending money on useless items, which was why she left for New York City (NYC). The novel begins with a snapshot of Jeanette catching sight of her mother in NYC, ignoring her. A few days later, she felt guilty and invited her mother for dinner, but like always she is the same. For example, the mother says, “I could use an electrolysis treatment” (Walls 5). The mother is homeless but still asks for unnecessary things instead of taking care of her life.

The second part of the book named “The Desert” is about Jeanette growing up as a child. The plan was for the father to get rich and build his kids a “Glass Castle”. However, the plan does not go well due to an alcoholic father and the main problem arises when Jeanette had to go to the hospital because she burned her hand. The parents did not like the hospital treatment so he took Jeanette out of the hospital without contacting them. As a result, they did not pay the bill due to financial reasons, so they had to begin their journey of moving around to different states/cities.

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Essentially, this would lead to the family living in impoverished conditions and having to move continuously because of the trouble the father had caused each time. The term the book used for the continuous movement is “Skedaddle”

The third part of the book called “Welch” is where the family moves to the next. The actions stay the same, the father gets drunk and continues to have financial problems. As these problems stay the same, Jeanette and Lori(her sister) plan their escape to NYC. Eventually, they would save a good amount of money but would end up being spent by their dad. However, the kids did not give up hope and tried again to save money for their escape but this time they succeeded.

During the last parts of the stories, the kids(now adults) moved to New York. Each one gets a job and starts their life with their spouse and kids. Additionally, the parents also move to New York but are homeless. Moreover, the dad eventually dies from health problems. As a result, the family gets together for Thanksgiving, including their mother, and talks about the good times they had together.

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The Glass Castle’: Book Review Essay. (2023, October 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from
“The Glass Castle’: Book Review Essay.” Edubirdie, 09 Oct. 2023,
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