We are proud to announce that BookBrowse has won Platinum in the 2024 Modern Library Awards.

What readers think of The Glass Castle, plus links to write your own review.

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Read-Alikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Glass Castle

A Memoir

by Jeannette Walls

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls X
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2005, 304 pages

    Jan 2006, 304 pages


  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book


Page 8 of 23
There are currently 179 reader reviews for The Glass Castle
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!


Easy read, inspiring story of overcoming adversity
I was amazed at the level of details the author had from her childhood and how she gave us just enough without going overboard on her descriptions of she and her siblings neglectful upbringing. You will pull for them to escape yet laugh with them as they make the best of their situation and teach us all a lesson in honoring our parents. Excellent read.

A Great Book
This book made me laugh, made me angry and made me sad. Incredible life she had to live. I would recommend this to all.
Olivia Lovell

This book was amazing! It had the perfect amount of adventure and drama that made it the perfect book. It was also really cool that it was a memoir because all of the things you read about really happened.

you can do anything
This book made me think about all my life and see that I have everything to succeed in life. The author of the book past so many difficulties but at the end she became what she wanted. It also helped me to realize that I have everything and I don't give thanks for it.

This book inspired rage, frustration, and finally, hope....
This is a memoir I will never forget and will forever be changed by. It has made me give pause to give thanks for the many simple daily things I take for granted, like eating a meal, or taking a bath. This story both enraged and inspired me. It seemed never acknowledged in the story that mental illness was behind much of the Walls' family dysfunction, but that's sort of an aside. What shines through most is the sheer grit and determination of the neglected Walls' children to carve a better life for themselves in spite of unimaginable odds. This book is an utterly devastating memoir. I sat late into the night reading, and crying. When I made soup and cabbage rolls today and my home was warm and fragrant, I thought of the Walls children foraging for food in the school trash cans and in the woods behind their crumbling shack of a home with no heat, no water, no toilet, no food. Are there more like this, even now, even in this great country of excess? We need to open our eyes and see, be aware, and act. Precious few made even a small attempt to intervene for these kids.

To really have experienced a life like Jeannette Walls's is amazing. To be able to pull through that situation and still be able to lead a normal life means that there is something truly exceptional about you.

I would recommend this book to anyone who believes that they are in a tough situation. Either you will realize that you are well off or you will be able to feel what Jeannette Walls felt during her childhood.

A must read
I just finished reading Jeannette Walls book and I admit it was a hard read because of all the abuse she and her siblings experienced. But unlike some of the other reviews I have read on this site, I believe her account of her life to be true as she remembers it. As far as her remembering events from the age of three, I would think she had the benefit of her siblings memories as well to help her. Considering how they supported one another throughout their unfortunate childhood, I would think that this would be a given. And as a teacher, I have seen students who loved their parents no matter what abuse was heaped upon them. One issue that I haven't seen discussed in these reviews was the possibility that the mother was suffering from a mental illness (perhaps bipolar disorder). It would explain her addiction to an 'excitement' lifestyle and the ridiculous choices she made for her family. I would also be interested in a psychologist's or psychiatrist's take on this mother. Additionally, I believe that she could love her father, even considering the terrible things he did to her. He loved her in his own way and she accepted him for who he was, but as an adult she made sure she didn't marry a man like him. I was disappointed that the adult Jeannette didn't give more analysis of what she experienced, but maybe that would have been too painful for her. I commend her for having the courage to disclose the raw memories of her childhood. Kudos for this heart retching memoir!

The Glass Castle
I am a seventh grader with a love for reading. When my mom's book club read this book, she instantly recommended it to me. I loved the truth and passion that she put into it, and I recommend it to everyone who wants to be pulled in and captivated by the realistic qualities that this book has.

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Atlas of Us
    The Atlas of Us
    by Kristin Dwyer
    Despite her name, Atlas James feels like she lacks a road map for her future. In the months since ...
  • Book Jacket: One Hour of Fervor
    One Hour of Fervor
    by Muriel Barbery
    Set during multiple decades across the turn of the 21st century, One Hour of Fervor follows Haru, a ...
  • Book Jacket: The Ascent
    The Ascent
    by Adam Plantinga
    Adam Plantinga's brilliant debut novel, The Ascent, introduces readers to former Detroit police ...
  • Book Jacket: The Curse of Pietro Houdini
    The Curse of Pietro Houdini
    by Derek B. Miller
    Derek B. Miller's sixth novel, The Curse of Pietro Houdini, opens in the town of Cassino, Italy, in ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
by Costanza Casati
A feminist Greek retelling about the most notorious heroine of the ancient world and the events that forged her into a legendary queen.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Help Wanted
    by Adelle Waldman

    From the best-selling author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. comes a funny, eye-opening tale of work in contemporary America.

  • Book Jacket

    Strong Passions
    by Barbara Weisberg

    Shocking revelations of a wife's adultery in 19th New York explode in an incendiary trial exposing the upper-crust and its secrets.

Win This Book
Win The Cleaner

The Cleaner
by Brandi Wells

Rarely has cubicle culture been depicted in such griminess or with such glee."
PW (starred review)



Solve this clue:

M T G Before I S

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.