Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Glass Castle

Image taken from here.

I literally just finished our book club selection for August/September...and while I never would have selected to read this book on my own, I have to say it was fascinating! I've read plenty of other books similar to this but there was something about Jeannette's story that left me riveted. I started the book by reading the first hundred some pages yesterday afternoon, read the next hundred or so pages when I couldn't sleep, and finished the last twenty pages this morning. This is the first book in a long time that I would have read non-stop given the opportunity.

It's hard to imagine growing up in a life like Jeannette's and I'm legitimately in awe of the strength and perseverance demonstrated by her siblings and herself. Having worked at child welfare, the reality of her life and the desire of her family to maintain their togetherness hit home all the more...and only further reminded me that their family reality is much more common than many in the American public might like to believe. The love and strength of her siblings and herself is to be applauded and I'm incredibly impressed at their ability to have relocated from Virginia to New York City more or less unscathed, when many more depressing alternatives could have become their reality.

The book also further reminded me of the variety that exists within the homeless population and that for some it is a chosen way of life. This lesson was one I first learned while a social work undergraduate student when I was related a story about a homeless guest speaker who had a trust fund but who also selected to live on the streets. While plenty of homeless do not choose to live on the streets, for some it is a desired choice. The reality is that each homeless individual and their circumstances are different and while it may not be the life many of us would choose, why should we judge others who select or are driven to those circumstances?

A wonderful, eye-opening read---I would encourage you to pick it up and peruse it's pages!

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