Glass Castle quote“Things usually work out in the end.”
“What if they don’t?”
“That just means you haven’t come to the end yet.”
― Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle

What kind of books does your Book Club read?

For the past 15 years, a group of women from different backgrounds and relationship status’, with an age range of give/take 50 years, and an always-changing array of hair colors, have come together on a monthly basis to, in theory, read and talk about a book. (It is in fact a ‘no stress’ book club, so reading the book is not mandatory. It’s more important that we spend time together and stay connected!)

RARELY, very RARELY, do we agree on a book. Penny likes happy books (no ‘Oprah books’). Judy is in several book clubs so she reads lots and all kinds of books.  Anne and I rarely read the books but love hearing our girlfriends share about them.

A few years ago we read a book that almost all of us LOVED. In the spirit of inspiring you to start a Book Club or get you to share what you and your book club are reading in the comments below, following is a review of that special book that has yet to be replaced as the most read and most loved selection for our neighborhood girlfriend book club. (Thanks to the fabulous Judy for keeping us organized and for sharing the following book club book review! Here’s her book club review on Ann Patchett’s ‘State of Wonder.‘)

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Glass Castle is an amazing memoir written by Jeannette Walls. Walls grew up with parents who were not accepting of the responsibility of parenthood. Her mother painted, read, and could not be bothered to fix food for her children. Her father drank, stole money and left for days at a time. Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves and support one another. She presents her parents, with all their faults at their worst, without anger or judgment and often with humor.

Everyone has something good about them quoteWe often think neglected children would be better off removed from their home and brought into houses with good food, warm beds and parents. But we could also argue that being taken away from the only home and the only family they know could do more harm than good. Jeannette is a good example of what someone can become with the support of someone (even siblings) who love you and supports your goals.

This book gave me hope that no matter how messed up a person’s childhood is, there is still a chance to end up as productive member of society. After reading this story you realize that it does not take lots of money or material things to “make it” in the world.

The Glass Castle lends itself to a number of interesting discussion topics:

  • Parenting styles – the siblings never doubted they were loved but their parents did not show their love in conventional ways.
  • Sibling bonds – how important is it to have siblings to go through childhood with.
  • Foster care – is it always better to remove a child from neglecting parents.

Has your Book Club read ‘The Glass Castle?’ What’s your review? What are you reading? What book(s) does your Book Club enjoy reading? Share below!

More girlfriend advice for Book Clubs:

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