Other books written: Half Broke Horses, about the life of her grandmother, Lily Casey Smith. Dish: The Inside Story on the World of Gossip, about the role of gossip in the United States. Jeannette is a journalist and a gossip columnist.
Setting: Nevada, California, Arizona, West Virginia, and New York City. From approximately 1957 to 2005.
Main Character: Jeannette Walls-She is the narrator of the story. She tells the events of her life living with neglectful but loving parents.
Rex Walls-He is Jeannette’s alcoholic father who uses his wife and his children for his own needs but never stops loving them and hoping they love him. Rose Mary Walls-She is the selfish mother of the family. She also loves her family but only after her own needs are met. Lori Walls-She is the oldest child of the family, but isn’t the one who dominates. She is smart and loving, but without Jeannette, hasn’t the courage to escape the life she hates. Brian Walls-He is the boy of the Walls siblings and learns very young how to protect his sisters. Maureen Walls-She is the most fragile of the children and spends all her life looking for someone to take care of her.
Conflict: Living in an abusive, dysfunctional family. We learn through her memoir that nothing in the dynamic of family relationships is ever just black and white. The parents love their children, but they neglect them and sometimes actively and knowingly hurt them. Jeannette spends her entire life trying to understand them. A horrific childhood she experiences by being raised by alcoholic, manipulative, discarding and selfish parents. Her parents are extremely dysfunctional and yet very energetic non consoling people who force their children to learn how to take care of themselves by feeding, clothing, and protecting each other.
Mood: The mood is usually very troubling and at times sad as we see Jeannette and her siblings struggle...