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Summary : Journalist Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary and their four children lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family. When the money ran out, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town Rex had tried to escape. As the dysfunction escalated, the children had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they found the resources and will to leave home. Yet Walls describes her parents with deep affection in this tale of unconditional love in a family that, despite its profound flaws, gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life. -- From publisher description.
Summary : Now a major motion picture from Lionsgate starring Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, and Naomi Watts. MORE THAN SEVEN YEARS ON THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST The perennially bestselling, extraordinary, one-of-a-kind, “nothing short of spectacular” (Entertainment Weekly) memoir from one of the world’s most gifted storytellers. The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of resilience and redemption, and a revelatory look into a family at once deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant. When sober, Jeannette’s brilliant and charismatic father captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and how to embrace life fearlessly. But when he drank, he was dishonest and destructive. Her mother was a free spirit who abhorred the idea of domesticity and didn’t want the responsibility of raising a family. The Walls children learned to take care of themselves. They fed, clothed, and protected one another, and eventually found their way to New York. Their parents followed them, choosing to be homeless even as their children prospered. The Glass Castle is truly astonishing—a memoir permeated by the intense love of a peculiar but loyal family.
Summary : In the tradition of Mary Karr's "The Liars' Club" and Rick Bragg's "All Over But the Shouting," Walls has written a stunning and life-affirming memoir about surviving a willfully impoverished, eccentric, and severely misguided family.
Summary : A stunning, heartbreaking novel about an intrepid girl who challenges the injustice of the adult world - a triumph of imagination and storytelling. It is 1970. 'Bean' Holladay is twelve and her sister Liz fifteen when their artistic mother Charlotte, a woman who 'flees every place she's ever lived at the first sign of trouble', takes off to 'find herself'. She leaves the girls enough money for food to last a month or two. But when Bean gets home from school one day and sees a police car outside the house, she and Liz board a bus from California to Virginia, where their widowed Uncle Tinsley lives in the decaying antebellum mansion that has been in the family for generations. An impetuous optimist, Bean discovers who her father was and learns many stories about why their mother left Virginia in the first place. Money is tight, so Liz and Bean start babysitting and doing office work for Jerry Madox, foreman of the mill in town, a big man who bullies workers, tenants and his wife. Bean adores her whip-smart older sister, inventor of word games, reader of Edgar Allan Poe, non-conformist. But when school starts in the autumn, it is Bean who easily adjusts and makes friends, and Liz who becomes increasingly withdrawn. And then something happens between Liz and Maddox... 'Tragic and comic at the same time... an outrageous story, one that will break your heart' Sunday Independent 'There isn't a shred of self-pity in this deeply compassionate book' Marie Claire ***Half Broke Horses (S&S, 2009) 'Has immense power and readibility... What it does with aplomb is to track the birth of a nation: the conjuring of modern America from a scorched, dusty wasteland' The Times
Summary : You'll love joining Avery in the adventures of The Glass Castle where the setting from The Chronicles of Narnia meets the action from Alice in Wonderland. Avery dragged her three-year-old brother behind a boxwood bush and listened for footsteps in the brittle leaves. She couldn’t be sure which was louder—the person on their trail or her own heart, galloping like a stallion in her ears. With one hand over Henry’s mouth, Avery looked down at the nicest dress she owned. Not only had she torn the ruffles and destroyed the hem, but the white linen stood out in the shadowy woods, making her an easy target. If she survived this afternoon and made it home tonight—and that felt like a giant if—her father would demand to know why her dress was stained with grass and mud and tinged with blood.She would tell him the truth. The king is growing old and is concerned about who will replace him. His new wife wants to produce an heir to the throne. The only problem? Thirteen years ago, the king’s first wife gave birth to a son, and no one knows for sure what happened to him. Rumors swirl throughout the castle. For the new queen, the solution as simple: dispose of all the thirteen-year-olds in the kingdom. Except, it isn’t that easy. Avery and her friends won’t go quietly. Avery, Kate, Tuck, and Kendrick take charge of the underground network of kidnapped children, inspiring them to believe that their past does not dictate their future and pledging to do the hardest thing of all. . .reunite the children with the homes they left behind. When they discover that one among them might be the child of a man who wants them dead, will everything they work for be lost? The Glass Castle is Book 1 of the Thirteen series. Look for... The Ruby Moon - Book 2 The Paper Boat - Book 3
Summary : The author offers a novel based on the life of her grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, who learned to break horses in childhood, journeyed 500 miles on a pony as a teen to become a teacher, and ran a vast ranch in Arizona with her husband while raising two children, including Rosemary Smith Walls, portrayed in the author's acclaimed The Glass Castle. Includes reading-group guide. Reprint. A New York Times Best Book of the Year.
Summary : Created by Harvard students for students everywhere, SparkNotes give you just what you need to succeed in school: Complete Plot Summary and Analysis Key Facts About the Work Analysis of Major Characters Themes, Motifs, and Symbols Explanation of Important Quotations Author's Historical Context Suggested Essay Topics 25-Question Review Quiz The Glass Castle features explanations of key themes, motifs, and symbols including: strength from hardship; abuse; fire; compassion vs. boundaries; the glass castle; Joshua tree. It also includes detailed analysis of these important characters: Jeannette Walls; Dad (Rex Walls); Mom (Rose Mary Walls).
Summary : “A spellbinding portrait” of the tumultuous life and artistic career of one of the most creative photographers of the 1960s (New York magazine). Diane Arbus became famous for her intimate and unconventional portraits of twins, dwarfs, sideshow performers, eccentrics, and everyday “freaks.” Condemned by some for voyeurism, praised by others for compassion, she was nonetheless a transformative figure in twentieth-century photography and hailed by all for her undeniable genius. Her life was cut short when she committed suicide in 1971 at the peak of her career. In the first complete biography of Arbus, author Patricia Bosworth traces the arc of Arbus’s remarkable life: her sheltered upper-class childhood and passionate, all-consuming marriage to Allan Arbus; her roles as wife and devoted mother; and her evolution from fashion photographer to critically acclaimed artist—one who forever altered the boundaries of photography.
Summary : He’s lonely and desperate. But he wants far more than her attention... The one thing Benny wants more than anything is a relationship. But he's not smart or good-looking, so women ignore him or run the other way. Then Olivia moves into the neighbourhood. It’s love at first sight for Benny. Olivia is beautiful and kind, his fairy tale princess. But there are two big obstacles. Olivia doesn't love him. Yet. And her abusive ex-husband Lucas is still hanging around, making life difficult for her. There's only one course of action. But will it give Benny what he wants? If you love suspenseful stories with flawed characters who’ll touch your heart, you’ll love this novel you can read in one sitting.
Summary : John Green meets Rainbow Rowell in this irresistible story of first love, broken hearts, and the golden seams that put them back together again. Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can't-eat-can't-sleep kind of love that he's been hoping for just hasn't been in the cards for him—at least not yet. Instead, he's been happy to focus on his grades, on getting into a semi-decent college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything's about to change. Grace isn't who Henry pictured as his dream girl—she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys' clothes, and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It's obvious there's something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again. And yet, this isn't your average story of boy meets girl. Krystal Sutherland's brilliant debut is equal parts wit and heartbreak, a potent reminder of the bittersweet bliss that is first love.
Summary : In the wake of the Halifax Explosion of 1917, Penny's father must make a decision that will alter all their lives. Faced with the difficulty of finding housing for his three motherless daughters, and worried by the constant threat of disease, Papa reluctantly sends Emily and Maggie to his sister's home in Montreal. Penny, however, must go to live with Grandmama in Montreal. It's a decision that devastates ten-year-old Penny, for the life she is offered in Montreal is nothing like she imagined. It is the life of a princess--and Penny is decidedly not a princess
Summary : Sex, drugs, and . . . bug stew? In the vein of The Glass Castle and Wild, Cea Sunrise Person’s compelling memoir of a childhood spent with her dysfunctional counter-culture family in the Canadian wilderness—a searing story of physical, emotional, and psychological survival. In the late 1960s, riding the crest of the counterculture movement, Cea’s family left a comfortable existence in California to live off the land in the Canadian wilderness. But unlike most commune dwellers of the time, the Persons weren’t trying to build a new society—they wanted to escape civilization altogether. Led by Cea’s grandfather Dick, they lived a pot-smoking, free-loving, clothing-optional life under a canvas tipi without running water, electricity, or heat for the bitter winters. Living out her grandparents’ dream with her teenage mother Michelle, young Cea knew little of the world beyond her forest. She spent her summers playing nude in the meadow and her winters snowshoeing behind the grandfather she idolized. Despite fierce storms, food shortages, and the occasional drug-and-sex-infused party for visitors, it seemed to be a mostly happy existence. For Michelle, however, now long separated from Cea’s father, there was one crucial element missing: a man. When Cea was five, Michelle took her on the road with a new boyfriend. As the trio set upon a series of ill-fated adventures, Cea began to question both her highly unusual world and the hedonistic woman at the centre of it—questions that eventually evolved into an all-consuming search for a more normal life. Finally, in her early teens, Cea realized she would have to make a choice as drastic as the one her grandparents once had in order to save herself. While a successful international modeling career offered her a way out of the wilderness, Cea discovered that this new world was in its own way daunting and full of challenges. Containing twenty-four intimate black-and-white family photos, North of Normal is Cea’s funny, shocking, heartbreaking, and triumphant tale of self-discovery and acceptance, adversity, and strength that will leave no reader unmoved.