The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls is the memoir of Jeannette's life growing up in a dysfunctional family. Jeannette has an older sister, Lori, and a younger brother, Brian, and the youngest is a sister, Maureen. Her father, Rex Walls, is an alcoholic who cannot hold a job and who leaves his family for days at a time when he goes on his benders. Her mother, Rose Mary, fancies herself and artist and doesn't like to work although she occassionally does as a teacher, and leaves her four children to fend themselves thinking that it teaches them independence and life skills which it certainly does in Jeannette's case.
Jeannette not only survives in an atmosphere of deprivation but she thrives. She does get from her family a fierce spirit of independence and competence and a belief that she do anything in life that she desires.
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This is article #2 in a series on Free books.