Jeannette Walls' memoir The Glass Castle takes us through the author's experience of growing up in a shockingly dysfunctional family. Jeannette's father, when sober, captured his children's imagination by promising to build them a "glass castle" in the desert, but when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. His dream of the castle was a fairytale that kept Jeannette and her three siblings scrounging through garbage cans for food, and painting their skin so the holes in their clothes did not show. Jeannette's mother was and artist who lived in a fantasy world and described herself as an "excitement addict"; a free spirit.
They lived on the run from collection agencies and family services. The children fed, clothed and protected each other. Eventually the children prospered and offered help to their parents, who chose to live homeless.
This book has been in the library for several years, but still enjoys huge popularity. One of our staff found the book compelling, and it left her marveling at the persistence and loyalty within this family.