I'm not usually a fan of books. In fact, I never voluntarily read anything as a kid. I would be forced to read in the summer or at school for some assignments — but never enjoyed them. The idea that people actually read books for fun blew my mind. Now, it doesn't mean I'm not intelligent or smart, I'm just a more visual type of person.
By my senior year of high school, I ended up reading yet another book that I thought I was going to hate. "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls was a book that I was glued to from beginning to end. I absolutely loved it. After I read it the first time for class, I read it again on my own. Then again and again and again.
What made it so good that a girl who hates books loved this one?
It was written from a child's perspective, which is different from an adult's perspective. I liked that this autobiography had quirks. For example, her father would call her "mountain goat". I don't know any other book that has that. Her parents were described with generosity and deep affection, even though she had to escape from them both. She knew the reality that most kids aren't aware of — and that's what makes her so special. Jeannette knew her family had flaws, but never regretted having her parents as her parents, even though it didn't work out.
There were opinions that Jeannette did not judge or condemn her parents for their miserable failings. I believe that she was highly intelligent and had keen insight into their psychology and knew, on a deeper level than most children, they were "doing the best they could", in a sense. Only she knows and believes what's in her heart. I got the sense that she accepted and saw reality clearly. Her zest for life, curiosity, and hopefulness in spite of her parents' failings made her a rare exception among people who are raised in such a way.
What I admire most about her is that she never gave up and resigned herself or allowed what was clearly abnormal to become normal.
Jeannette believed it was a shameful story, one she'd hidden for years. It was a childhood filled with poverty, alcoholism, and homelessness. But it was also one filled with joy, pride, and deep love. She was challenged by her mother to just tell the truth and her story eventually became well known.
I definitely recommend reading this intriguing book, even if you're not a bookworm like myself.