Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer Reading

I would say that I am a lover of books....and summertime seems to be the best time that I get to read  books that I have picked up at garage and estate sales. I love reading nonfiction books lately.... 'The Glass Castle' by Jeannette Walls is amazing. It resonated with me on so many levels. I found myself rooting for her throughout the whole book, wanting her to make her way out of the craziness and have a life she so deserved.  It's a memoir: a story of  materially impoverished yet highly intellectual family, told in the humane and voice of one of the daughters, Jeannette Walls. Jeannette gew up with parents, whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Her father, Rex was a charismatic, brillant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, and geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Her mother Mary, was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn't want the responsibility of raising a family. The Walls children  learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another.
On Christmas, they weren't given gifts, they were to expensive, they usually celebrated Christmas, about a week after December when good bows and wrapping paper were thrown way and Christmas trees were discarded on the roadside. Mary would give her children a bag of marbles or a doll or a slingshot that had been marked down in an after-Christmas sale. This particular Christmas, Rex  lost his job, and there was no money, so he took each of his kids into the desert night, wrapped in blankets, when it was Jeannette's turn, he sat next to her and talked about the stars. He told her to pick out her favorite star, he told her for her Christmas present she could keep any star that she liked, Jeannette found one, in the west above the mountains but low in the sky, that shone more brightly than all the rest. Rex told her that's Venus, it was only a planet, and a pretty dinky one compared to stars. Jeannette wanted it anyway. Her dad said, "What the hell, "It's Christmas. You can have a planet if you want it.
And he gave her Venus.
I loved reading this story of triumph againist all odds, but it was also a tender moving story of unconditional love in a family that despite it's profound flaws gave Jeannette Walls the determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

1 comment:

1-2Punch said...

sounds like a good one, I just heard about another one that I thought would be a good read, now if I can only remember the name, it was a romantic comedy. hmmmm?