I fell in love with Jeannette Walls ability to tell a story in her fascinating first novel, 'The Glass Castle' which I read and reviewed in 2010. Finding her latest book at Sam's Club over my Christmas vacation I quickly devoured the true-life novel of Walls grandmother, Lily, told from Lily's perspective and based on stories Walls heard from her grandmother and mother about Lily's childhood.
Full of spunk and ambition, Lily's life is never dull. From her small minded, snooty mother to her disabled father who relies heavily on her from the time she's 10 years old. Lily's childhood shows her incredible strength and courage. As the grows older she makes every opportunity count no matter how small. Her hardwork and determination carry her through trial after trial. She's fearless and there's nothing she won't do to get by.
I fell in love with her no-nonsense personality and willingness to get her hands dirty to get the job done. In a time when women had few rights and were held back from being independent or even hardworking, Lily blazed her own trail with gusto. She had the fire in her we all admire and she wouldn't have made it any other way.
From teaching school in close-minded mormon communities to selling illegal alcohold from under her daughter's crib to pay the mortage, Lily handles everything like she's breaking a horse. Life knocks her down more than a few times as she's fired from every job for her forward ideas and desire for the world to advance. A modern girl before her time, you'll love her ambitious ways.
A must-read for the 2011 book list for each of you. I predict many more great novels to come from Walls in the future. Her talent as a story teller will carry her far. Her interesting family (written about in both books) has given her plenty of writing material and I'm sure, stories to tell over dinner.