The Glass Castle


“I told Mom that I would protect it from the wind and water it every day so that it could grow nice and tall and straight. Mom frowned at me. ‘You’d be destroying what makes it special,’ she said. ‘It’s the Joshua tree’s struggle that gives it its beauty'”

“‘Don’t worry, God understands,’ Mom said. ‘He knows that your father is a cross we must bear.'”

        Jeannette Walls, with her brilliant and vivid descriptions, shows a perspective of living as a second child in yet another kind of family. She takes the word travelling to another level and what makes this memoir even more poignant is how it is based from real life. Having to constantly escape from chasing bill collectors, the Walls family is forced to live a peripatetic life in the most adverse conditions together. However, doing the ‘skeddadle’ as the father would call the anomalous transfer of place to place was just part of their everyday lives as well as sleeping in open deserts and encountering poisonous snakes and hunting them down. The mother is a self-proclaimed artist who somehow prioritizes developing her aesthetic sense than feeding her children; the father is a peccadillo magnet who turns unpredictable when drunk and is almost always seen using the family’s money for drinking. Growing in an environment where the everyday struggles are concerned with survival, the Walls bunch leaves the readers to wonder again what a family means, and if it may be just more than security, protection and acceptance.

       At one point, I had to take a break from the emotional intensity of the book. It was kind of another journey to stand in the shoes of Jeannette Walls and in almost every chapter, I stopped to look at her photo in the back just to imagine that this woman had actually experienced all of what she had written. It was really one of the rare occasions that I, after completely merging with the main character, could see myself in the story. The wonders that a book is capable of. 


Tuesdays with Morrie

Death ends a life, not a relationship

    Before you read this it is best to be prepared with a box of tissue at your side. I regret reading this book yet at the same time it was the most beautiful book I’ve ever encountered. Now I could tell you a million reasons why I ‘regret’ reading this. One is because my mother worried of my mental well-being. Tears kept pouring down from my eyes as if its tear pipe worked on its own, and I started telling my mom how much I loved her and started apologizing to her like a sinner to a priest. I rarely opened up to my mom about my problems and worries because I was going through a phase so she really didn’t see it coming. I felt bad for the time I spent on the internet  instead of talking to her a little more. Another reason I ‘regret’ reading this is because it depressed me a great deal. Death was a very sensitive subject for me to think about that time and the book had to talk about death. It was like facing my fears, and even if I was beyond terrified to face it, I knew it was going to awaken and re-freshen the way I thought as well as answer some questions that had burdened me for years.
    Every Tuesday, Mitch would go to his teacher’s house and learn something new. This may sound common and nothing special as it is normal for a teacher to teach his/her students but it was a little different in this case. Morrie, the teacher, was quite old and was diagnosed with an incurable disease that had his days numbered. Yet he remained optimistic, his sense of humor never ceasing, throughout the end which not only touched Mitch but the whole world as well. At first Mitch listens to the request of Morrie rather reluctantly but then he finds himself enjoying as the days flow by. I found this part extremely depressing because it meant, in a way, that the nearer Morrie came to his end, the more he grew on Mitch’s heart. Morrie delves in topics such as emotions, families, pride, religion, and even love. If someone tells me to pick the best quote from the book, it would be like asking me to pick my favorite song from my playlist. Everything Morrie says feels like the lines of the bible and it gets to me every time. And as corny as it may sound, it actually heals the wounds of the soul. It makes you wonder about the true definition of humanity and the like. I still get mind blown the fact that it actually happened and there actually lived someone who continued to change lives even after his death up to this day. It truly is a great book not only for teenagers but for grown adults as well. You never know if your life will turn a new leaf upon reading this.