Monday, 18 July 2016


  "The Glass Castle" is a very popular book that I have read for a couple of book clubs in the past.  It is so well-written that I remember it clearly.
   It  reminded me of "A Million Little Pieces" because you think life can't get any worse but it does- again and again.
   The parents, Rose Mary and Rex Walls, "made a big point about never surrendering to fear or to prejudice or to the narrow-minded conformist sticks-in-the-mud who tried to tell everyone else what was proper." ( p. 103)
   Rex believed in "science and reason" but did many unreasonable things- like moving the family in the middle of the night.  He could not conform, so couldn't keep a job.  He needed to be free and the family lived in extreme poverty.  He lived with a dream of building a glass castle.
   Rose Mary also couldn't follow rules or conventions.  She took the children to church but encouraged shoplifting.  She stood by her husband regardless of his drinking and the affect on the family. 
   The novel begins with Jeanette on her way to a fancy party and she sees her mother rooting through a dumpster.  Very, very unusual parents and a fascinating memoir.

  "North of Normal" is another memoir with even more bizarre parenting!  
  The author's name is Cea Sunrise Person.  Her grandparents were hippies who raised their family in the woods- smoking pot, living in tipis, at the mercy of storms, food shortage, with adults half/or fully nude having sex wherever and with whomever.
  This is the only family that Cea knew and she said, "Sometimes, at night, I would sit in my bedroom thinking about my life.  My family was crazy and there wasn't a thing I could do to change it.  I was twelve years old, and for at least the next six years, I would be their prisoner."
  Cea always knew that her extended family was not normal, and she set out to find her own 'normal'.  What a struggle!
Cea Sunrise Person
  In the acknowledgements, she writes, "I must also thank a woman I have never met: Jeannette Walls, whose incredible memoir "The Glass Castle" inspired me to finally tell my story, which had been living unwritten inside of me for most of my life."

   It took six years, and 30 drafts for this memoir to reach the publishing stage.
   It is an unbelievable story and she has written a follow-up book that is only available in e-book format called "Nearly Normal: Surviving the Wilderness, My Family and Myself". In this book, she is attempting to work out the issues from her very unusual childhood.

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