Tag Archives: Jeanette Walls

The Glass Castle Movie: A Review

Has anyone else seen the movie? What did you think?

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Hello, everyone! More than a year ago, I wrote a review of Jeannette Walls’ memoir The Glass Castle, which I praised for being a straight-forward recollection of Walls’ neglectful and border-line abusive childhood. While the film adaptation, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton of Short Term 12, is a lovingly made, often touching film, it doesn’t carry the same boldness of its source material. Neither work points fingers, but Cretton’s adaptation tries to find forgiveness in a story that doesn’t deserve it. In trying to force a sappy happy ending, Cretton turns a blunt, complex memoir into a boilerplate Hollywood sob story.

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The Glass Castle

The Chancellor's Left Foot Forward

Several of my students had read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and hearing them talk about it made me curious.  They were flabbergasted at the life the author led.  Then, for my book club, the pick for March was none other than The Glass Castle.  This is a memoir that takes the reader from Ms. Walls’s childhood up through her early adult years.  It’s full of crazy adventures, selfish parents, and overcoming the odds.

Glass CastleSometimes what keeps me from liking nonfiction especially autobiographies and biographies is that I can’t relate to the subject of the book.  Not to downplay Ms. Walls’s childhood or dramatize my own, but there were some shocking similarities.  She moved around the Southwest and even spent a stint in the Bay Area, never staying longer than a few years in each location.  Every time her parents would pull up stakes they would call it…

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