Long before I even read Jeanette Wall’s incredible memoir for myself I watched how her words affected people. It was summer, and I was in a production of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. We practiced in our director’s backyard which left us with a lot of down time in-between scenes to frolic around the house and lay in grass. And when they weren’t memorizing lines, three of the girls from the cast that summer all shared one copy of The Glass Castle. I remember watching them sit captivated by her words. Each saving their spots with folded pages or bookmarks. Savoring the beautiful brutality of her words with reverence. It wasn’t until a few years later that I understood the true power of those words as the rationale behind three girls graciously sharing one single book.
Everyone likes to think their childhood was magic and unique. But while Jeanette Walls’s life is the epitome of those words it her bravery to write about her experiences that truly defines her story. Though far from glamorous her childhood spent in poverty was not without its brilliance. Growing up in a constant state of movement with a dreamer and artist for parents left little room for suburban stability. Their dysfunctional but imaginative ways shaped the morals she learned how to form for herself. Jeanette’s life story is one of beauty, redemption, forgiveness, adventure, abuse, and heartbreak. But the thing that captivates readers of all ages is the rare purity found in her telling of the hardest kinds of truths.
Recently finished in pre-production and set to air in 2017 is the movie adaption of the Walls family’s story. Acclaimed actress Brie Larsen known for her roles in Room and Short Term 12 is set to play adult Jeanette. Larsen will be joined by actors Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts as Mr. and Mrs. Walls. Larsen’s track record of depicting resilient women is one of the main reasons I have faith in the movie’s potential to be fantastic. While I am aware my hopes remain dangerously high for this film, I am eager for the day I will yet again get to witness a portion of the world be captivated and humbled by an incredible woman’s story.