Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Glass Castle

"Mom, this ham's full of maggots," I said.
"Don't be so picky," she told me. "Just slice off the maggoty parts. The inside's fine."

Last night, I finished reading Jeannette Walls' bestselling memoir "The Glass Castle." It's a remarkable book on many levels, none moreso than the author's matter-of-fact acceptance of, and personal triumph over, her difficult (to phrase it mildly) childhood.

So many people use misfortunes in their past as a blanket excuse in life. Their family was poor, their parents divorced, they weren't the favored child, they were deprived, etc., ad nauseam. All the pity party-goers should read The Glass Castle to learn how to identify a real childhood problem--and how to deal with it constructively.

I so enjoyed the author's comfortable and entertaining narrative of sometimes brutal circumstances that I went hunting for some footage of Jeannette Walls and found this captivating interview. Check it out when you have a few minutes. Can you imagine this charming lady ever feeling sorry for herself?

Although she never did enter the glass castle her troubled father had promised to build, Jeannette Walls certainly has arrived on life's sunny side.