I can't say enough about this story because it's complicated. By today's standards the children would have been placed in foster care and the parents paraded and humiliated (if that's possible given how they perceived the world) in front of society as horrible people. However, these biological parents (especially dad) truly loved the children and taught them how to take on life (albeit in a sometimes horrifying way).
If you are a parent, and you think you didn't bring your A Game for childrens' entire childhood, you might want to reconsider after reading this book. This is off-the-scale dysfunctional child-rearing, with enough soul-searing truth delivery included that these kids just may have ended up more gifted than the entitled youth we know today. Ripping the cell phone out of a kid's hands and throwing them into a "dig-your-own-lunch-out-of-the-bathroom-garbage" might change a few attitudes in today's schools. Just maybe...
A story full of adversity and emotion. True to life. You cannot pick your parents. Time passes quickly.
Read the book once and want to hear it read by the girl who lived it.
I didn't want this book to end! This is one of the best books I've ever read - and for sure the top two audio books I've listened to. I felt like I knew Jeannette and grew up with her since the book covers much of her early life to maybe early 30s. I was so captivated by her amazing story. Parts were shocking and almost tough to hear, mainly because it's sad at times and kind of shocking about how her family lived. The characters are so captivating too. The love the family has and while dysfunctional, how much Rex in particular loves his children, and how much her mother does (in her own ways) too, was just remarkable. This book is all about resilience. I'm going to rave about this book to anyone who will listen :) AND to top it all off, to hear Jeannette's voice narrating this audio book made that much more special and amazing!
Teaches you what real love is about! And that we don't all come from a cookie cutter type of family , we are born with what we have.
This is a fantastic story. I loved the way the story was told and how the author overcame her early life experiences. Also the author's voice was perfect for the audio version.
It's always too soon to write a fair review of a great book when they always keep you thinking. 4 & 5 stars are worth repeat listenings.
Jeanette Walls read her story and appreciation was in her voice. All through the listening, I kept saying, "what a well written story. What a life. What a hard worker. What respect she has for her family."
I read the book and loved it, thought I'd like to hear it read by the author and I was right. Jeanette's true inflection brought more to the audible version than you could possibly get from just reading the book.
At the end of the book, I just want to meet the author, Jeanette Walls. This is someone I want to know.
Sometimes almost too difficult to read on, but a good example of how, if parents get it right, at least part of the time, kids are given a chance to find their path, despite all the bumps, and in this case, outright neglect, on the way.