Sunday, March 27, 2011

4/52 - The Glass Castle

i read the fourth book of my projected fifty two, the glass castle by jeanette wells, admidst sand castles and happy holidays.

i am not sure if this worked in it's favour or not. i picked this one up on a whim, knowing that it had received great reviews in a few book clubs i know of. a story of survival, the author is now successful and living a life very far removed from that of her childhood. the story is disturbing and uncomfortable.
however, it left me, well, kind of feeling like i do after watching an episode of hoarders - anxious and wishing that someone could have helped these people.

the story chronicles the life of a family led by a dysfunctional mother and father, incredibly destructive to each other and their children...but at the same time unable or unwilling to ever change their situation, due to a mix of the bonds of their childhoods, the ideal of romantic love, personal weakness and the stranglehold of mental illness.

this is not a bad book.
not at all.
i passed it on to someone after me who was simply riveted by the story...and she passed it on to someone who had the same incredulous, affected but positive reaction ( it is a quick read, as it is hard to put down ).
it was on the new york times best seller list for 100 weeks.
there is a movie being made of it by paramount.
the book obviously strikes a chord with many. just not me. i have not really put much thought into why it raised an uncomfortable shift in me as opposed to an empathetic hope for the family...perhaps i am jaded by too much reality everything these days.

if you read this and had a different reaction, can you share?


Andrea said...

I've not been able to finish this book. I picked it up, since she grew up in Welch and that is where my Dad spent my childhood working. Driving a coal truck. I felt like I should read it, having that sort of close connection to, at least, the space it inhabits for a bit.

But it just made me feel twitchy, too. I dunno. Maybe because I worked in foster care for so long and in a psychiatrists office and saw that type of thing first hand, in reality. Maybe I don't need to also read about it in an "entertainment" setting.

Hoarders makes me sad. So, incredibly sad.

I know, from reality, that some people simply do not want to be helped. I feel that was the end this book was getting to. Maybe that's why I put it down and haven't picked it back up.

I dunno. Lots of people love it.

I feel empathy too deeply.

I'm rambling...

writewrds said...

I loved it, was horrified by it and, like you, I sometimes felt uncomfortable reading it. Perhaps the difference in our responses is that in some wee itsy bitsy ways I could relate to it. It reminded me of what I want to remember: People are amazingly resilient and many folks come from challenging circumstances I don't know about (so I should try and be kinder, less judgmental yada yada). Also it reminded of hope. Sort of.
But I can see how it wouldn't be much of a hit on a beach holiday! YIKES (FunRead 911 time.. :)

Hope your next book is uplifting!

Pam @writewrds

Life As I Know It said...

I read it a few years ago (also while on the beach!), and you're right, it's a quick read in that you can't put it down. I will say this - the book sticks with you. Three years after reading it, I can still remember specific passages.

What else is on your reading list??