From one of the best-selling memoirists of all time, a stunning and heartbreaking novel about an intrepid girl who challenges the injustice of the adult world - a triumph of imagination and storytelling.
It is 1970. "Bean" Holladay is 12 and her sister, Liz, is 15 when their artistic mother, Charlotte, a woman who flees every place she’s ever lived at the first sign of trouble," takes off to find herself." She leaves her girls enough money for food to last a month or two. But when Bean gets home from school one day and sees a police car outside the house, she and Liz board a bus from California to Virginia, where their widowed Uncle Tinsley lives in the decaying antebellum mansion that’s been in the family for generations.
An impetuous optimist, Bean discovers who her father was and learns many stories about why their mother left Virginia in the first place. Money is tight, so Liz and Bean start babysitting and doing office work for Jerry Maddox, foreman of the mill in town, a big man who bullies workers, tenants, and his wife. Bean adores her whip-smart older sister, inventor of word games, reader of Edgar Allan Poe, non-conformist. But when school starts in the fall, it’s Bean who easily adjusts and makes friends, and Liz who becomes increasingly withdrawn. And then something happens to Liz in the car with Maddox.
The author of The Glass Castle, hyper-alert to abuse of adult power, has written a gorgeous, riveting, heartbreaking novel about triumph over adversity and about people who find a way to love the world despite its flaws and injustices.
©2013 Jeannette Walls (P)2013 Simon & Schuster
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.
I've heard great things about her and I have one of her other books that I've not read yet so I thought this would be a good read...WRONG.
Yes...she sounds like a young girl which I realize this is written from the perspective of a young girl but it lacks depth and the way in which it's read doesn't help it at all.
I made it through 5 chapters and had to quit. I should have read the other reviews before I checked this out. Everyone else's perception was the same as mine. The writer lacks depth in developing the characters and the story line. It's really a book for a teenager with a simple story line. Very disappointing.
I really wanted to like this book. It took me several tries, starting to listen to this book & abandoning it, to finally get interested enough to stay with it. I finally got far enough into it to get interested in the story & want to finish it. Narrator wasn't great - I think a better narrator would have helped. It was an OK story & I was rooting for the girls towards the end.
I really like her writing and loved the two other books of hers that I have read.
I am not continuing to listen, because the narration is so unpleasant for me!
The pacing is off, the expression seems forced, and her voice is not professional in quality.
Jeannette Wall's is a good writer. I look forward to her books.
Hire a narrator!
Drab, too like her other books.
The characters are so well developed. I also loved Jeanette's narration.
yes. It's as good as the others. I didn't want it to end.
Great summer read!
The main character " Bean". Her 12 year old perspectives run a wide range from innocent to tenacious & stubborn through the whirlwind of changes she & her sister take on, both In their world as kids & the world of adults. Uncle Tinsley, the reclusive hoarder, was a close second with his odd, but caring efforts in offering the girls an anchor in their lives.
1st day of school at their new school - the mixture of excitement & dread against the backdrop of the historical timing.
There were both "laugh out loud" moments & moments where I winced with empathy for Bean, her sister, & her mom, & others in the Holladay clan.
Believable characters & real life dilemmas.
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