The Glass Castle made me cringe, cry, and laugh out loud --- sometimes all in the same chapter! It is exactly what you want from a memoir. Real people, real experiences.
Jeannette was my favorite character. Her story is complicated, but the beauty of her life shines through. She never pities herself. The anger comes through sometimes, but mostly it's just acceptance and the desire and determination to make her life better.
My favorite scene was when Jeannette finally met the prostitute of Welch. Everything she had expected to feel about this woman went right out the window and the encounter delivered my favorite line of the book, "One thing about whoring, it put a chicken on the table."
If life circumstances had allowed, I would have listened to this book without ever turning it off until I had finished listening to every single chapter. I wanted to devour it.
I grew up in southern West Virginia. After living in a big city for over 16 years, I moved back to the state in 2009. I can say that Jeannette captured life in certain parts of WV very accurately. I wish her time in WV had been better for her and for her family. It's a fantastic state filled with wonderful people, but Jeannette's description of her life in Welch rings very true to me.
Jeannette's reading of her own work made this audiobook even more of a pleasure. Listening to the author describe events in her life made them come alive in a way that would be hard to capture by just reading words on a page. I feel like I made a friend in Jeannette. I will truly miss the sound of her voice.
I chose this book for every reason you shouldn't choose an audiobook. First, I thought the cover was charming. Second, Jim Broadbent is one of my favorites. And, third, I am quite the Anglophile and wanted to hear the English accent.
While the book filled all those needs nicely, I was surprised how fantastic the story was. I was captivated right away by Broadbent's easy telling of the novel. I was equally captivated by the simplicity of the language. The no nonsense writing really appealed to me. The author had a story to share --- a story well worth sharing --- and nothing gets in the way of the story.
I found myself really wanting to know the characters in this book. It's a given that you are going to root for Harold, but I found myself growing fond of Maureen, too. I enjoyed learning about their story while keeping up with the present tale of his walk to Queenie.
The author really hit the right note on everything. The descriptions, the language, the pacing were all pitch perfect.
This book was a listening pleasure. I highly recommend it.
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