Saturday, August 2, 2008

*Update* The Glass Castle

This was one of the most incredible memoirs I have ever read. I still can't believe how much the author, Jeannette Walls, and her family went through. I'm pretty sure there are hundreds of other people out there going through similar experiences. But from reading her story my outlook on the less fortunate and homeless has completely changed. Jeannette is one helluva woman.

After reading the first paragraph, I couldn't put the book down after that.

"Mom stood fifteen feet away. She had tied rags around her shoulders to keep out the spring chill and was picking through the trash while her dog, a black-and-white terrier mix, played at her feet. Mom's gestures were all familiar--the way she tilted her head and thrust out her lower lip when studying items of potential value that she'd hoisted out of the Dumpster, the way her eyes widened with childish glee when she found something she liked. Her long hair was streaked with gray, tangled and matted, and her eyes had sunk deep into their sockets, but still she reminded me of the mom she'd been when I was a kid, swan-diving off cliffs and painting in the desert and reading Shakespeare aloud. Her cheekbones were still high and strong, but the skin was parched and ruddy from all those winters and summers exposed to the elements. To the people walking by, she probably looked like any of the thousands of homeless people in New York City.

It had been months since I laid eyes on Mom, and when she looked up, I overcame with panic that she'd see me and call out my name, and that someone on the way to the same party would spot us together and Mom would introduce herself and my secret would be out.

I slid down in the seat and asked the driver to turn around and take me home to Park Avenue."

Sometimes we forget how grateful we are for what we have. And it's stories like these that help us bring ourselves back to reality.