Tuesday, November 20, 2007

107. The Glass Castle

By Jeannette Walls
Rated 5 Stars

This was, in the words of my dreadful friend Stacy, a jaw dropping book. For one you assume there are social services that are supposed to catch kids like these but apparently the "safety net" if there is one anymore has large holes in it. Where was the school lunch program, the welfare people, the health department or the churches that are supposed to help kids that scrounge in garbage cans and live in shacks with no heat or plumbing and sleep in cardboard boxes with tarps over them because when it rains the roof leaks like a sieve? You have to wonder how many children live like this while
society frets about embryo's.

Then I also had to wonder what made the difference that allowed these particular children to rise up out of this and make something of their lives when so many others don't. I finally concluded that the only thing their parents did right was to encourage them to read and access the library. Knowing there was another way of life is the only thing I can think of that could have given them the motivation to bail out the first chance they got.

And last it made me realize that some people (the parents in this book certainly) actually choose to live like this because these particular parents certainly had the intelligence, education, and resources to live a decent life had they desired too. I think it was the resources part of this, the
mother's land worth a ton of money, her two carat diamond ring while thier children wore rags, froze and starved is what knocked me for a loop. Had this been fiction I would have considered it over the top.

In fact though, I went over to Amazon and read some of the reviews and there were a couple that people wrote who didn't believe this could possibly be true and then some guy from Welsh, W.V. who knew of the family corroborated it.
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