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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Glass Castle, By Jeanette Walls

I just finished THE GLASS CASTLE by Jeannette Walls

This is a provocative memoir that cuts right to the bone. The author is candid, yet graceful in her telling of a childhood brimming with pain and uncertainty. While she has every reason to be bitter, Walls offers her story not as a self-focused rumination, but as a philosophical look at a truly exceptional life.

Although, most readers will not have walked the same road Walls did, we can all hear echoes of our own lives in her account. After reading the book, my sister asked, "Do you really think everything she wrote about is true?" Who knows? Memoirs these days take so many liberties. But if half of it's true, it's an amazing story. And that's what matters in the end, huh?


L.L. Barkat said...

As a memoir writer I tried to tell "the truth", but interestingly enough when my sister read it... well, she saw things a little differently.

I like Tim O'Brien's thoughts about truth in the fictional (really?) book The Things They Carried. There is happening-truth and story-truth. Story-truth is sometimes truer. :)

Anonymous said...

I think O'Brien's book deserves the fiction label. As the wife of a combat veteren, I had the chance to ask all those questions like, "what went through your mind?" "What did you talk about, think about,fear, regret?" It was far different from the erotic daydreams of the young hero in the book. I am far from an expert on the subject, but I do believe the scope is just too narrow. There is more on the average soldier's mind than looking up some cheerleader's skirt. I would be interested in hearing more comments on happening-truth and story-truth. I don't remember the details. Perhaps I should go back and read the book again.