Book Club Kit: The Glass Castle

The Glass CastleThe Glass Castle
by Jeannette Walls
First Published: 2005
6 Copies & Reading Guide

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn’t stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an “excitement addict.” Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents’ betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

Reading Guide:
LitLovers – Includes an Introduction to the Book, Author Info, and Discussion Questions

The New York Times – “The Glass Castle: Outrageous Misfortune” by Francine Prose
The Today Show – “Life in Glass Castle Only Made Walls Stronger” by Denise Hazlick
Goodreads – Find out what fellow readers are saying about The Glass Castle.

Simon & Schuster Author Page: Jeannette Walls
Video – Jeannette and Her Mother

If you enjoyed The Glass Castle, you might like:
Half Broke Horses (Book Club Kit) by Jeannette Walls
A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt


One comment on “Book Club Kit: The Glass Castle

  1. Walls does a wonderful job of capturing the nature of her upbringing. Our discussion group had already read Half-Broke Horses. This gave us a framework for understanding Jeannette’s parents. We were thrilled with Jeannette’s ability to thrive despite a chaotic home-life. We discussed how people are influenced by previous generations. Jeannette’s grandmother’s strength was a direct result of her parents. Jeannette’s mother’s parenting choices were a response to her own childhood. Jeannette and her siblings show how adversity came either break you or make you strong.

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