Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Glass Castle

This book is uh-mazing. Every page makes my eyes bug out or jaw drop or laugh out loud. The irony of this post next to the previous one is not lost on me. The extreme opposite of yesterdays rant. The stuff that would make parents now a days skin crawl. The girl's parents in this memoir are... how to describe it? Neglectful, chaotic, brilliant, and in their own demented way loving. These people are a gold mine of psychiatric diagnoses: bipolar, RAD, substance abuse, childhood trauma, hoarding, AsPD, possibly ADD; all rolled up into one. Or in this case, two. At the same time brilliant and creative- which absolutely goes hand in hand with mental illness. I love the testament to unschooling. The kids are so smart and educated with the spottiest of public school education.

The first half of the book I enjoyed the tales of craziness. But by the end I was left quite disturbed and angry. Maybe the earlier memories were cemented more romantically in the head of an innocent young girl, but as she grew up, she saw her life for what it was. Or maybe life really did just get worse. It's hard to say.

I love how she records a college classroom conversation in which she theorizes on some homeless people's motivation. The professor got indignant and asked her, rudely, how she would know. And at the time she didn't want to discuss her past, so she said "point taken". But in the end, she had the ultimate comeback. The truth is out, professor. Now who's the expert on homelessness and who's the rude judgmental professor?

No matter how it left me, I highly recommend this book. I'm going to start reading it to Brandon tonight.

Thank you, Beth, for giving me the book!

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