Readers! How have you enjoyed The Glass Castle? The book is getting a lot of attention with the opening of the movie, but you guys, neither the book NOR the movie disappoint! Jeannette Walls is a masterful writer, draws you in, and makes you experience just what she and her siblings did. Head to the blog to print off this month’s amazing printable with a quote from the book by Kelsey Garrity Riley which we absolutely love!
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The quote comes from a section in the book when the dad tells his children to pick out a star as a Christmas present instead of a toy, due to their financial situation. He tells them also how lucky they are to get the stars instead of cheap plastic toys, “Years from now, when all the junk they got is broken and long forgotten, you’ll still have your stars.”
Glass Castle Book Art
Here are some discussion questions for you to think about – there’s SO much we could discuss, but I don’t want to bore you with a dozen questions. 🙂 So tell us your thoughts and share your opinions on our Insta account @larsbookclub . We want to hear what you loved or didn’t love about this unforgettable memoir!
- Jeannette’s voice throughout the memoir is never accusing or negative, just simply matter-of-fact. Though we as readers may be appalled or horrified at things, and quick to judge, Walls is merely telling her story like it is, without insulting or vilifying her parents. By the end, do you feel that Jeannette has forgiven or at least begun to understand her parents and the life they chose to live? Have you?
- Fire plays a recurring theme in the book: Jeannette’s burns at 3 years old, their hotel burning down in Las Vegas, a shed going up in flames, Rex setting the family’s Christmas tree on fire, etc. Rex calls the spot above the flames the border between “turbulence and order.” Jeannette clearly remembers that – what do you think this meant in regards to the Walls family?
- Despite living in poverty, the author reveals repeatedly how brilliant and intelligent Rex and Rose Mary Walls (her parents) were, their contradictory flaws and strong character traits. Does this change anything about your view of poverty? How much do we really know about those who live in poverty?
- Rex Walls (and Rose Mary as well) had a few philosophies that he held dear. Rex said, “If you don’t want to sink, you better figure out how to swim.” Was letting their children fend for themselves – in almost every way – letting them sink or swim? Where does one draw that line??
- Rex and his children (especially Jeannette) repeatedly planned and talked about the glass castle they were going to build and live in. What was this structure a symbol of? It was never actually constructed, so why do you think Walls chose this as her title?
If you liked The Glass Castle, you might like:
Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls
The Liars’ Club: A Memoir by Mary Karr
All Over But the Shoutin’ by Rick Bragg