The Glass Castle

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The Glass Castle



Jeannette Walls (born April 21, 1960) is an American writer and journalist widely known as former gossip columnist for — and author of The Glass Castle, a memoir of the nomadic family life of her childhood, which stayed on the New York Times Best Seller list for 100 weeks.Walls was born on April 21, 1960 in Phoenix, Arizona to Rex Walls (deceased 1994), and Rose Mary Walls. Walls has two sisters, Lori and Maureen, and one brother, Brian. Walls' family life was rootless,

Jeannette Walls She is the narrator and main character of the story. She tells the events of her life living with neglectful and yet loving parents. Rex Walls He is Jeannette’s alcoholic father who manipulates and uses his wife and his children for his own needs and yet never stops loving them and hoping they love him. Rose Mary Walls She is the selfish mother of the family who brings her own baggage with her and passes it on to her children. She also loves her family but only after her own needs are met. Lori Walls She is the oldest child of the family, but isn’t the one who dominates. She is smart and loving, but without Jeannette, hasn’t the courage to escape the life she hates. Brian Walls He is the boy of the Walls siblings and learns very young how to protect his sisters. He grows up to be a protector as well when he becomes a police officer. Maureen Walls She is the most fragile of the children and spends all her life looking for someone to take care of her.

Erma. Ted, and Stanley Walls These characters are Rex Walls’ mother, father and brother. They are racists and have bad attitudes about nearly everything. Stanley tries to rape Jeannette at one point. Dinitia Hewitt She is the young black girl from Welch who first allows her gang to beat up Jeannette and then calls them off when she sees Jeannette in a different light. Jeanette Bivens She is Jeannette’s favorite teacher who not only encouraged her dad to be a writer, but also supports and guides Jeannette. Grandma Smith Although she doesn’t appear very much in the story, she is one of the individuals in Jeannette’s life who has a great influence on her. Ginnie Sue Pastor She is the town whore in Welch and teaches Jeannette a great deal in one visit to her home about the realities of life and what you are willing to do to put food on the table. John Taylor He is Jeannette’s second husband who helps her find her real place in life and readily accepts her family with all their imperfections.



The Places: Nevada (numerous little towns including Blythe and Battle Mountain plus Las Vegas); San Francisco, California; Phoenix, Arizona; Welch, West Virginia; and New York City The time: from approximately 1957 to 2005.


Plot summary

The Glass Castle details the story of Jeannette Walls and her family. Constantly short on cash and food, the family moves around the country frequently and tries to re-settle. Though the families struggle, the memoir communicates itself without accusing either of the Walls parents. The family lives in various mining towns on the West Coast of America. This part of the book is characterized by frequent moves from town to town. As Jeannette grows up in the desert she is enchanted by the limitless bounds of nature and the fantasies her father dreams up for her and her siblings. While living in the desert Jeannette begins a rock collection and explores the natural and man-made features of the environment with her brother Brian. Life in the desert ends when Rex's alcoholism worsens and the family runs out of funds. They leave the desert and relocate to Welch, West Virginia, and the town where Rex grew up, to find better prospects.

Eventually the siblings all end up relocating from Welch to New York in an attempt to be liberated from the stifling environment in Welch. For a time everyone is settled and living independently until Rex and Rose Mary show up in Manhattan in a van. After just a short while, the couple ends up poor and homeless once again and despite their efforts, the children are unable to take on the burden of hosting their parents anymore. Consequently, Rose Mary and Rex become squatters in abandoned apartments until Rex dies after having a heart attack.

Life in Welch, West Virginia is completely different than the life the Walls led in the desert on the West coast. Most notably, Welch has a winter season which brings new challenges to the Walls family. From their arrival, the Wells children are itching to leave Welch and return to the desert. But eventually circumstances become so bad that they realize they must move away from their parents in order to achieve stable lives. Lori and Jeannette set their sights on New York and begin saving money to move out of Welch once and for all.

By the memoir's end, Jeannette has finally reconciled her past and present and no longer feels the need to hide behind lies or half-truths. The memoir liberates her and allows her to do what she enjoys most about writing; communicate with the world.


I really liked this book because she told a real life story that could connect to alot of people's life. I recommend people to read it becasue it really shocked me when i first read this book because i didnr expect it to be the nice of a book.

brain walls

Jeanette walls

Lori walls



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