Jeannette Walls Message Board

roxi posts on 1/26/2007 11:35:37 AM Someone asked about land taxes and how they were paid. The land taxes could have been paid out of the royalites before the check was cut for her mother every month. So the land could have been paying for itself and the mother would get a check of what was left over.
Joyce Neese posts on 1/10/2007 7:13:40 AM I enjoyed the book. The story could have taken place anywhere in the US and does everyday. Very sad indeed!! However, I grew up within 50 miles of Welch, W.Va., and left the area before the author was in high school. The scenes she painted of the educational system in Welch were certainly alien to me. The story in particular of the principal being so uneducated that he could not be understood except by children was an outlandish claim in my opinion - based upon my knowledge of the area and state educational requirements. Without a doubt the Welch educational community, if not insulted, was certainly shocked by her exaggerated interpretation. I feel she painted a whole town and set of people with such a broad brush of negativity that I would not recommend the reading of the book. In my opinion she stretched the truth to sell the book. And if she stretched the truth on the educational system I easily began to doubt other parts of her story.
Shirley Kataisto posts on 12/21/2006 6:52:07 PM Excellent book. Excellently written. I too wish I could meet this extremely extraordinary woman. I also came from a very poor, dysfunctional family and managed to mature in adulthood, emotionally, financially and socially way beyond the potential I would have ever dreamed I was capable of achieving. I was so incredibily moved by this book. I could hardly put it down when I was reading it and I can hardly stop rereading it in my mind. This woman is absolutely amazing and I would love to have the opportunity to meet her. I hope she plans to write a second book. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

Amy posts on 12/11/2006 2:41:29 PM I have so many questions. I don't even know where to begin. I wish I could have you over for a weekend and talk at every meal. You make me want to stop complaining.
Paula Cole posts on 12/8/2006 8:48:15 PM This book has become my favorite. I wonder if some of the story may have been exaggerated since it is hard to believe that Mom could have so much invested in property? How could she have continued to pay taxes if they were so dirt poor. Her memories of Welch with the black children were wonderful, especially the swimming pool - where she finally felt clean.
Shana Dines posts on 12/7/2006 9:49:41 PM I am in awe of your childhood and amazed that you survived. What survivors you all are. You and your siblings. The thing that had me in tears, that in spite of all the horror humiliation and pain, hunger and pain that you suffered I believe that your father really loved you. I suppose your mother did too, in her own weird selfish way. The part about your father naming stars for you for Christmas, touched me deeply. When he basically was willing to prostitute you, and threw you in the spring, tore my heart out. Also seeing his hopeless spiral into alcoholism, and stealing any innocence that you had away and stealing your money was so horribly sad. I had a horrible childhood, but does not compare to your childhood, as far as the poverty. Our childhood looked relatively normal from the outside. We had clothes, not the best, and plenty of food and a clean house. But we grew up with a very twisted sick perverse mother and a father who was actually a child, molested by my mother. So he was more of a brother than a father. He was full of rage and violence, and horribly emotionally and verbally abusive. We were lucky though in the sense that on the outside things didn't look too bad, except for the scandal of my mother leaving her husband, who was supposed to be our father for her child husband. I know it is confusing, but you probably get the picture. I was also disgusted by your mother's minimizing your uncle's molestation, and your parents treatment of you all over your repulsive grandmother. I am so impressed by your bravery and spunk and intelligence, and ability to survive and grow through this all and perservering, and protecting your siblings together. I applaud you and praise you and your talent. I hope to someday meet you. If you are ever interested, I wrote a short story and posted it on Associated Content. It is called Surviving the Palm Sunday Tornado. It is my true personal account of the tornado of 1965 in Dunlap Indiana, when I was 14. It shows the insanity of surviving catastrophe in a dysfunctional family. I am looking forward to your next book! Bravo!
Karen Murphy posts on 11/29/2006 11:04:01 AM Jeannette, Thank you for sharing your life with all of us strangers. I hope some of the children that mistreated you growing up get a chance to read your book. You are a remarkable woman and I hope God blesses you all the days of your life. You are a great writer. I'm encouraging all of my friends and family to read your book. I hope you will write another book someday.
Delores Steinhauser posts on 11/22/2006 9:22:34 AM Thank you for sharing the story of your life. It helped me to understand a little better a person in my family, who is very much like your parents. I think this book would make a great movie. Is there any possibility of that?
Michele posts on 11/19/2006 11:19:25 PM I just finished reading your book. I loved it and can't stop thinking about it! The whole time I was reading it I just wanted to save you and your siblings. Maureen wasn't memtioned much, but I worried about her the most being the baby. I'm dying to know if your mother ever sold her land?
Kat posts on 11/19/2006 12:43:40 PM Aloha Painful to read because it unwove me at times. I have alot of questions I would love to ask you. We have a bookclub in West Maui called the Pacific Rim readers and if you are ever on island we would could guarantee an evening of good wine and exotic food. Warmest Aloha, Kat
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