This was the book club selection for June. You’ve read it, right?
I read it a few years ago for a different book club, and was kind of
hesitant to reread it. It’s the story of a dysfunctional family and I
didn’t think I’d need to reread it to remember it, nor to “brush up”
But I did reread it. The first half goes right along while
you adjust to the situation. The father seems kind of humorous and
the mother has some of the best lines. It’s written as a memoir and
takes place in the 1960s, early 1970s as Jeannette grows up.
But after awhile, the dinginess, the sadness and the hopeless way the
children are raised begins to overwhelm. Cute stories from Daddy
aren’t as cute when tied in with the alcoholism and the
perverse neglect by the mother is no longer surmountable.
Children sleeping in discarded appliance boxes, although an
adventure when they are four and six-year olds, doesn’t seem
as interesting when they become teenagers.
The family consists of Rex and Rose Mary Walls and their four
children, Lori, Jeannette, Brian and Maureen. How in the world
they made it to adulthood is a credit to their own inner strengths.
Jeannette, the author, tries to keep a regard for her father
throughout, as his only supporter, but –
The book is based on a true story and I’m sure certain aspects of
it are true in a lot of families. I’m glad it was written down. It is
funny and sad and all the emotions in-between and it’s a book
bound to elicit a feisty book club discussion.
And indeed, there was involved discussion when our book club
met tonight. Everyone liked the book, but there were varying
opinions on the way the children were raised and the judgement
for the most part was wholeheartedly against the parents. We
agreed that the book was a good one, well-written, and a book
Next month’s book is The Postmistress by Sarah Blake. WWII
era . . .