Jeannette Walls never shies away from creating parental characters that you both love and hate. I think what I loved best was her focus on the sibling relationship and how protective that can be when you are dealing with parents who, for whatever reason, are unstable.
I found Walls' performance to be boring. In fact, I was shocked that as the writer if this story, there wasn't much inflection or emotion present during her narrating. It was definitely something I noticed within the first half hour but continued throughout the book. It may have seemed especially absent given the subject matter (particularly the alleged sexual abuse) as I felt using more emotion would've helped flesh out that scene. I also would suggest using different voices for the different characters. As a newbie to audiobooks (yet an avid reader) I find this helpful to get lost in the story.
Not sure, but it would highlight the sibling bond and the resilience of the girls. And maybe mention the unique kindness of the uncle.
While I'm a huge fan of Walls, II didn't enjoy this as much as "The Glass Castle". I was thrown a bit when the story took a turn and the girls left for their uncle's home. Initially, I expected that the story would be about the journeys and obstacles of living alone while waiting for their mother's return. After completing the book, I see that the journey back to their mother's old home was integral in the direction of the narrative. I would still recommend this to a friend, but it wouldn't be my first recommendation.
Emotional, engrossing, and suspenseful
The flashbacks through each of the character's lives really helped create a journey for the reader. The most memorable though would have to be the backstory of Kent. As a therapist who works with pedophiles on occasion, Mr. Lamb definitely did his homework in illustrating the typical thought patterns and distortions that are frequently found within that population. As disturbing as those scenes were, they were crucial to character development and plot formation.
Probably the scene when Andrew's fiancée calls into the Dr. Laura show. Just spot on in satire.
It would probably be Annie. Again, as a therapist specializing in trauma, I'm interested in how trauma in childhood affects a person's behavior, relationships, and functioning later in life. Specifically, I'd like to know how she sees the intergenerational nature of trauma and how it manifests itself in generations down the line. I'd love to talk to her about how her work helps channel her thoughts and feelings.
As usual, Wally Lamb delivers. I felt as if my allegiance to each character was challenged each time I would get another glimpse into their backstory and childhood experiences. This resonated for me as my own personal philosophy is that we should always be challenging our deeply held notions and beliefs, applying critical thinking skills to issues in addition to just going with our gut and constantly reading or seeking out information that only serves to reinforce that we are correct or right in our beliefs. It's imperative that we see our fellow man/woman as multifaceted and consider their experiences that got them to where they are when we encounter them. Lamb does a brilliant job of providing that dichotomy of good/bad in each of his characters, making it easy to lose yourself (as a reader) in their humanity while at the same time being acutely aware of their downfalls.
An additional note on the use of various voices in the audiobook: BRILLIANT! I have only listened to a few audiobooks as I'm fairly new to this medium, but I thoroughly enjoyed the different voices for different characters. It helped to enhance the storytelling experience in a way I wish the other books I've listened to would follow.
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