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The Glass Castle ~ Opening Thoughts

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The Glass Castle ~ Opening Thoughts

Post Number:#1  Postby Scott » 10 Oct 2007, 20:04

I actually haven't read the first sixth of the book, so I'll wait to post my questions and thoughts until I do. I want to post this now so those of you have started reading can post your thoughts.

This thread is for discussing the first sixth of the book. If you have read more, feel free to post here, but don't post anything past the first sixth of the book.

What did you think of the first sixth of the book?

Are there any passages or quotes you want to post? If so, please do.

Also, please post questions about the first sixth of the book for the other readers.

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Post Number:#2  Postby pinsandneedles » 10 Oct 2007, 23:16

Did Mary Charlene die of crib death-or neglect?
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Post Number:#3  Postby CollegeReader » 16 Oct 2007, 22:15

pinsandneedles wrote:Did Mary Charlene die of crib death-or neglect?

I read this book twice about a year ago, but I am going to try to join in on the convos. If I remember correctly, Mary Charlene died of SIDS, but perhaps that was never confirmed? The book is a memoir, so many of the facts are merely memories the author has as a child.

I do remember being shocked that Jeanette was cooking hotdogs unsupervised at 3 years old! That sort of lays the foundation for the dynamics of the Wells family, huh?
"Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled 'This could change your life'" ~ Helen Exley

"Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures"
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Post Number:#4  Postby caprijo » 17 Oct 2007, 15:07

I also find it disturbing that a young child is cooking hot-dog for herself. But I'm more surprised that the author remembers so much about her childhood. When I think of my own life, I'd say I remember bits and pieces, but I certainly can't recall all the emotional details.

I am not suggesting that her feelings are imaginative, but are those emotions intensified now that she has more experience (seeing how alternatively a child can be raised) and can articulate more eloquently?
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Post Number:#5  Postby pinsandneedles » 17 Oct 2007, 18:08

I think the author was-and is-highly intelligent. Her parents both seemed to be also (though lacking in parenting skills). This is probably the reason she was cooking hot dogs (mom thought she could handle it), and the reason for her sharp memory. I don't recall so much from my early years, but if I had caught on fire, I think I'd remember that!! Of course, books that are embellished a bit will always sell better. Who would buy a copy of this book if she couldn't recall much of her childhood? I'm not suggesting that it's all made up, but that she "filled in some of the blanks".
However, if it is 100% factual, kudos to her for her sharp memory. But, most writers embellish (the truth is boring). Ask James Frey.
But, back to the story...I still wonder if the baby died of crib death or if mom thought she was old enough to be feeding herself! Come back at me, someone!!!!
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Post Number:#6  Postby ibsllco » 17 Oct 2007, 20:32

I am very new at the forum thing so be gentle. I was so excited to see that you guys are reading this book. I just started it and find it very interesting. I believe that the memoir is true to form because if you read the acknowledgement in the beginning of the book it seems that at least one of the siblings may have had a problem with the book and came around. I think there is a lot of pain possibly surrounding this book. The little that I read makes me feel that as dysfunctional as any family is there is always another family that can beat it. :(
As for the baby that died, I think it was SIDs also taking the info from Jeannette's memory but like someone else said she was very young.
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Post Number:#7  Postby pinsandneedles » 17 Oct 2007, 21:52

Welcome to the forum!!!! :P I'm new, too!! You made some great points.
Yes, her parents were odd, however, it seems the author loved them, especially her dad- and I think she inherited their adventuous spirits. I may be the only one feeling this, but I think the author is at times bragging about her experiences.
I think it's BECAUSE of her childhood that the author is a success today, not in spite of it. I think she learned a great deal from her parents and their grand escapades! Keep in mind...I'm only midway through the book and don't know the outcome yet. I almost hate to finish it. I'm enjoying it immensely, and this book will go down as one of my top 10 favorites. I, too, have built my fair share of glass castles in my lifetime! Haven't we all?
Keep reading! :P

p.s. Fact or fiction-it matters not to me. I just love the book!
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Post Number:#8  Postby pinsandneedles » 25 Oct 2007, 11:59

As the book wears on, I am getting a little irritated by the "poor little me" descriptions. I'd like more insight into the parent's lives. I'd love to know if mom sold her art and what dad was up to while he was gone. Why did mom stick around? Why did mom feel it was okay to steal, but not okay to accept charity, etc.?
The book is great but I'd love less whining and more insight. I think a sequel would be fun-written by MOM, describing her life with dad!!!!
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Post Number:#9  Postby haniirani » 26 Oct 2007, 09:12

I'm quite late. I've just got this book today. Is it possible if I post my thoughts even after October is over?
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Post Number:#10  Postby haniirani » 01 Nov 2007, 23:00

I share the shock that some people felt on the boiling of hotdog. Do you think children nowadays are spoiled or was Jeanette just smarter than her age or it just showed her mother's way of bringing up her child?
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Post Number:#11  Postby caprijo » 02 Nov 2007, 09:22

I find there is a fine line between abusing vs. disciplining a kid nowadays. Same thing applies to spoiling vs. loving one. Not being a parent myself, it is easy for me to criticize but it won’t be fair to judge.

According to the general social standard though, having a 3- or 4- year old make hotdogs seem a little young. But then, my question becomes at what point are kids allow to do what things by themselves? How do we know that’s an ‘appropriate’ age?
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Re: The Glass Castle ~ Opening Thoughts

Post Number:#12  Postby slpeters2009 » 14 Dec 2011, 13:45

Throughout the entire book, I fund myself really loathing both parents...the author-what a success-what an outcome! Both parents may have been intelligent in that sense but not in nurturing...enough said. The book was great---full of every emotion attainable!

-- 05 Jan 2012, 15:34 --

ok...I also read "Half Broke Horses"---this is a book to read after the GC...it is the author's account of her grandmother---and mother...interesting and almost a must to fully understand the author and the parenting skills within the "Glass Castle". HBH can stir your emotions and almost make you feel sorry for the mother in GC...well at least I eased up on my negativity towards her and the father. :wink:
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