The world needs more Jeanette Walls. I loved her book. It is the Horatio Alger story of our age and proves that it is still possible to achieve anything in this country.
I had a difficult time with her parents. They seemed to be such broken people in so many ways with just a few sparks of light and intelligence that came through their dysfunction.
Obviously the father had his reasons for being un-well. The mother either had some unholy childhood herself or fell into what I want to call a mental illness when she married... what else can I call it when a mother does not have an intense desire to feed her children?
The parents left me scratching my head. Maybe they did the best they could with the inner resources they had. I don't know. But, the loyalty of the children to one another and their desire to pick themselves up and then help each other succeed amazed me. I found that part of the story inspiring.
I loved the part of the story where Jeanette was working for the jeweler and found out that he was keeping part of her salary for himself and how she then took a watch from the store, but later returned it. She had an ingenuity in the way that she survived and she had a desire to do honest work and wasn't afraid of it, and she had integrity; a recipe for success.
I'm sure there are scars. I'm sure that you don't survive that kind of childhood unscathed. But, I am so amazed at where she went in her life. And, I wondered as I listened to a story on Sixty Minutes about the Millennial Generation entering the work force.. how many of those coddled children could survive if times got really tough. And, I wondered about my own child. I hope that I am teaching her to work.