I'm a little late on the draw. I just finished the memoir The Glass Castle though I heard the buzz about it more than a year ago. There's nothing typical about the family in the book, but the author, Jeannette Walls, generously invited us into her everyday unbelievable experience with parents who defied every rule of social logic. Imagine having a father completely capable of repairing the wooden porch and steps, who let them rot such that the family had to enter and exit their home through a window. Wonder how a mother would not bother to supervise her three year old daughter boiling hot dogs on the stove for lunch in the name of building her daughter's independence. Think about rummaging through trash cans in secret at school for lunch though her mother owned a million dollar piece of real estate.
Yet, miraculously, I felt the author didn't approach these subjects as painful judgments against her family; Jeannette Walls stated her life as matter of fact. I could feel her love, compassion and, yes, even a kind of respect for her parents and herself. Walls painted a tragic landscape somehow without victims or gall. A good read.