Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Glass Castle

My reading habits really ebb and flow. I sometimes can't get enough books read and sometimes, I want nothing to do with literary endeavours. Lately, I have been reading The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. I forget how much I enjoy memoir and will find a personal story like this and remember.

It isn't Shakespeare and it won't be taught in the classics class in high school, but it is compelling all the same. The Glass Castle is a story about a family that does not live by any social rules, but rather, they live through neglect and hardships forced upon them by parents that suffer their own demons. The demons of self-indulgent philosophies, alcoholism, and what seems to me was ideas of grandeur plague these parents to the point that they cannot take care of their children.

More than anything, I get angry at these types of parents but that is my first instinct. I have to remember that they are probably mentally ill in some capacity. The story takes place twenty or so years ago, but this type of neglect is still going on. Just this weekend, a young mother and her four children were killed in Philadelphia because she was staying in an abandoned row home and using a hodgepodge of heating tools. The house burned down with the family inside. Is this neglect from the mother or the community? It's tragic on so many levels.

I recommend The Glass Castle for a quick weekend read. Let me know what you think.

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