Sign in / Join

10 Best Quotes From "The Glass Castle: A Memoir" By Jeannette Walls



Gossip columnist Jeanette Walls dishes the dirt on her own troubled youth in this remarkable story of survival against overwhelming odds. The child of charismatic vagabonds who left their offspring to raise themselves, Walls spent decades hiding an excruciating childhood filled with poverty and shocking neglect. But this is no pity party. What shines through on every page of this beautifully written family memoir is Walls's love for her deeply flawed parents and her recollection of occasionally wonderful times.


  1. ““It’s the Joshua tree’s struggle that gives it its beauty.”

  2. “’Life is a drama full of tragedy and comedy,’ Mom told me. ‘You should learn to enjoy the comic episodes a little more.’”

  3. “Too much hard luck can create a permanent meanness of spirit in any creature.”

  4. “You should never hate anyone, even your worst enemies. Everyone has something good about them. You have to find the redeeming quality and love the person for that.”

  5. “....he said it was interesting. He used the word 'textured'. He said 'smooth' is boring but 'textured' was interesting, and the scar meant that I was stronger than whatever had tried to hurt me.”

  6. “I lived in a world that at any moment could erupt into fire. It was the sort of knowledge that kept you on your toes.”

  7. “One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by.”

  8. “Sometimes you need a little crisis to get your adrenaline flowing and help you realize your potential.”

  9. “You didn't need a college degree to become one of the people who knew what was really going on. If you paid attention, you could pick things up on your own.”

  10. “You can't cling to the side your whole life, that one lesson every parent needs to teach a child is ‘If you don't want to sink, you better figure out how to swim’”