Walls, Jeannette "The Glass Castle: A Memoir" - 2005
What would you do if your childhood was more than extraordinary, when you tried everything to escape it and finally manage to get out? Jeannette Walls tells us her story, the story of her parents, her siblings and herself. From growing up on the street, never knowing whether they had anything to eat the next day, let alone finding a place to sleep to becoming a top journalist. That is an extremely long way and Jeanette Walls is able to describe this as if you'd been there. The account of a life both devastating, as well as encouraging.
From the back cover:
"This is a startling memoir of a successful journalist's journey from the deserted and dusty mining towns of the American Southwest, to an antique filled apartment on Park Avenue. Jeanette Walls narrates her nomadic and adventurous childhood with her dreaming, 'brilliant' but alcoholic parents. At the age of seventeen she escapes on a Greyhound bus to New York with her older sister; her younger siblings follow later. After pursuing the education and civilisation her parents sought to escape, Jeanette eventually succeeds in her quest for the 'mundane, middle class existence' she had always craved. In her apartment, overlooked by 'a portrait of someone else's ancestor' she recounts poignant remembered images of star watching with her father, juxtaposed with recollections of irregular meals, accidents and police-car chases and reveals her complex feelings of shame, guilt, pity and pride toward her parents."