It infuriated me. And it also broke my heart. This autobiographical memoir by writer Jeanette Walls shared her family’s unconventional life, living in poverty all those growing up years and basically raising their shiftless drunk of a father whose dreams were bigger than his reality, and their mentally unstable mother who blamed her children for turning out the way she was.
Walls’ dysfunctional parents made her and her siblings think that living on the run in their dilapidated car, stopping in the middle of deserts and highways with nothing to eat for days on end, was the ultimate adventure.
They taught them that shoplifting was okay if you had good reason, because it would only be justifiable pilfering. That burns, blisters, broken bones and gaping wounds would not kill you but only make you stronger. That lack of insulation and the cold weather were actually good for the body because it killed the germs. That sexual assault was a crime of perception. That self-esteem was even more vital than food. That what they lacked in food and hygiene and money were unimportant because they had one another.
It infuriated me, and it also left a mark. A very good read, indeed.