Book Review – The Glass Castle – Rating: 8.75 out of 10

The Glass Castle - Book CoverThe Glass Castle: A Memoir, by Jeannette Wells

How I came to read this book:

My mom loaned it to me after having read it for her book club.

Score Summary

  • Content: 9
  • Writing Style: 10
  • Re-readability: 7
  • Busy Mommy Scale: 9


The story told in Ms. Wells’ memoirs are still with me. I finished reading this book a couple of days ago, but it’s still in my head. I’m having a hard time finding the words to write this. It’s a story of a life. A really rough childhood. One of the reviews on the inside cover really summed it up by saying that if anyone had reason to whine about their early life, it is this woman, but she doesn’t.

It’s certainly not a “feel-good” book, but wow.

“Bonanza!” Brian shouted.
“Feast time!” I said to him
He looked at the dishes, I knew what he was thinking, what he thought every time he saw a spread like this one. He shook his head and said, “You know, it’s not really that hard to put food on the table if that’s what you decide to do.”

She was not spiteful or attacking in her judgment of her parents, but with the simple telling, made it clear she was hurt and bewildered at how the people she loved could make such self-centered choices.

Writing Style

The whole time I was reading, I was amazed at how matter-of-fact the author was about some pretty rough times. She excels at storytelling. You can just see her surroundings and feel the tension with every incident she remembers.


Hm. This one is hard. I almost want to read it again to stay in the story. However, it’s not really a happy one. It’s just real. And it’s powerful.

Busy Mommy Scale

This book started, as most do, unfortunately, as a bathroom book for me. If a particular story was a little longer and engrossing, it made its way to my nightstand and my desk. Once I got to about the middle, I got so wrapped up in it that it took over and I had to finish it at every spare moment. It got carried around the house. 🙂

I have to say, I would love to meet Jeannette Wells. I would love to know if she’s really as pragmatic about her life. She really is an example of how though you may come from underprivileged roots, you can truly make responsible choices that change your surroundings.

“Are you saying homeless people want to live on the street?” Professor Fuch asked, “Are you saying they don’t want warm beds and roofs over their heads?”

“Not exactly,” I said. I was fumbling for words. “They do. But if some of them were willing to work hard and make compromises, they might not have ideal lives, but they could make ends meet.”

She is speaking from experience and a victim she is not.