“Things usually work out in the end.”
“What if they don’t?”
“That just means you haven’t come to the end yet.”
I heart Ms. Gibson. Anyone who comes close to pulling off a teenage miracle is one part uniquely competent, one part highly devoted and one part purely magical. I wish she’d run for President; she’d have my vote. Rachel and I took a poll and her list gets all A’s. And although it’s past midnight and throwback Thursday is officially over, I’m electing to flash back this Friday to one of Gibson’s picks.
The Glass Castle is an astonishing memoir. Jeannette Walls describes her hardscrabble childhood marked with neglect in unsentimental, honest terms. In her father we see the complexity of human beings: a brilliant man and consummate dreamer who could lasso imagination for his children when he wasn’t sozzled—when he wasn’t destructive, dishonest, and overtly dysfunctional. Her mom was at times despicable too. An “excitement addict” who would rather make a painting that would last forever than cook a meal for her children that would disappear in 15 minutes. Your jaw will hit the floor as you encounter the Walls’ dubious parenting practices. And yet, despite frequent clips of homelessness, hunger and depravity, the author also experiences contentment and adventure. Remarkably, she neither demonizes or romanticizes her parents. She reminds her readers that everyone has redeeming qualities that deserve our attention.
Way to go Ms. Gibson! Everyone loves a rags-to-riches story. I have no doubts Ben Boyle will want to turn The Glass Castle’s pages. Better yet, he’ll realize that his lit-lovin, chocolate-sharin’ mama is as fine a parent as she is a friend.