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With Parents Like These......
Jeannette Walls is a really strong woman (as are her siblings) to have survived her childhood. Though never physically abusive, her parents as revealed in her memoir, were totally feckless people who should not have been allowed to have children. Though her father was a highly intelligent man, he was always blaming someone else for his continuing failures, was a foul mouthed alcoholic who never understood himself nor his children. Her mother lived in a fantasy world with delusions of talent and was, with her husband, convinced of the conspiracy of government and all authority, who admired her own so-called values. And yet Jeannette, her sister and brother managed to break free of their family, leave West Virginia, and make good lives for themselves. They also tried to help their parents, to no avail.
Hanna Carol, author of A Box of Chocolates-Thoughts on Parenting
An Honest Story
Walls writes cleanly and forcefully, without self-pity, about a horrendous childhood, essentially raising herself, to become a talented, focused writer. I found the book compelling reading and was left in awe by the persistence of Jeannette, Lori and Brian. I would recommend it highly for anyone over the age of 12.
I found strength and a way to look everything in a very different perspective as I was reading this book. So blessed by the writer's honesty.
I loved it
I just read this book and it was very very good. I just couldn't believe that after a childhood like this Jeannette could become so successful.
an amazing journey
It is almost impossible that a person with a childhood as yours could had the guts to see from the top of the problems... I'm impressed and ashamed for complaining about things that are not even comparable to what you lived. From the beginning to the end it captured my attention the way you see things from the perspective of the positive side, never letting go your spirit and hoping... always hoping.
I personally passed something similar with my family and it is a hard thing to go through but...well done Jenny this is an achievement personal and professional that deserves the recognition of the world.... keep writing. By the way Brian is such a grown up from the beginning that I respect him even more.
This book is very detailed and remarkable.
makes you think
This book is special. It is showing a world that many are not familiar with, a first hand account of what it is really like to live and grow as "white trash". One of the things that emerge is that there is no black and white - as the mother says, no one is completely evil and that much of what happens is one's own decision and will.
WI Book Club Girl
The parents, who are horrible most of the time, have some qualities that are admirable. The star giving story, when the father sits down with each child and lets them chose their own star- is parenting at its best. The scene of everyone reading together with the dictionary in the middle, is a great family moment. And it is clear, that even after all the horribly, irresponsible, selfish things that the parents do, the kids still love them.
The truth is that the kids took care of each other, and the one child that fell through the cracks is Maureen, the one that lived out of the house, in friends houses, probably in better environment but without the family support.
It made me think about poverty and types of poverty, and what society can or cannot do. I would highly recommend it to young people/teenagers. I think it brings home the notion of adventure/responsibility and outcome.
I was disappointed that this book did not seem to go beyond the point that some kids have incredibly rough childhoods and some actually can end up rising above it. Common theme, written admirably and notably by many well known, and highly esteemed authors - of which category I would not include this author. Like other reviewers, I question the embellishment of this author's tale and fail to the see the literary value or intimacy in her writing of it.
This book is very confusing and have to write a page about 40 pages in the book each night.