Sarah Hill, CEO of Bookstr with Jeanette Walls

Jeanette Walls Reveals What She Learned Writing ‘The Glass Castle’

Jeannette Walls’s memoir ‘The Glass Castle’ spent 261 weeks on New York Times bestseller list, has been translated into over 20 languages and has won multiple awards. The latest in the long line of its successes is a major motion picture adaptation, which hits theaters this Friday. The movie stars Brie Larson, Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson as Walls and her mother and father.


Jeannette Walls was kind enough to join us today in the Bookstr offices for a Facebook Live interview with Bookstr CEO Sarah Hill. Sarah, who has recently read the book and seen the film, described the story as ‘profound,’ while Walls says “the movie is a spectacularly brilliant refining of the core message of the book.”


Walls’s book deals with her unconventional, impoverished childhood and her relationship with her alcoholic though loving father and disconnected mother. Walls started off the interview by telling a story about seeing her homeless mother rooting through a trash can from the window of a New York taxi cab. She said she met her mother a few days later and asked her “what the heck am I supposed to tell people about you?” to which her mother replied “tell the truth.” Well, Walls is remarkably good at telling the truth. We’ve rounded up eight of her top words of wisdom from the interview, but we recommend watching the whole thing to fully appreciate just how wise this woman really is. 



Brie Larson as Jeanette Walls and a scene from the film

Brie Larson as Walls / Image Courtesy of JoBlo 


1.Life presents you with beautiful ironies, if you will let it.


2.Creativity is an outlet for stress or hardship, whenever times got tough mother would paint, and my father would work on plans for the glass castle, so one of the things that I love about this movie is that yes there’s darkness and pain and poverty and hunger but there’s also joy and hope and love. And I hope that the movie…like the book has… [will go towards] helping people see beyond the stereotypes.


3.A very wise man said to me secrets are a little bit like vampires, they suck the life out of you, but they can exist only in the darkness. Once they’re exposed to light there’s a moment of horror but then poof! They lose their power.


4. My wildest most ambitious hope is that someday a rich kid would read [‘The Glass Castle’] and that that rich kid would be nicer to those of us from the wrong side of the tracks.


5.The way to prepare our kids is not protecting them from the notion that there are bad things out there, but to give them the tools to protect themselves.


6.I believe that if you get the gift of optimism, a belief in yourself and a love of education then you can get through just about anything.


7.The thing about anger and bitterness is it doesn’t do a thing to the person you’re angry or bitter with but it eats you up.


8.I think right now I’m the luckiest human being on the planet and if you are wherever you want to be, why regret how you got there?


Like these quotes? They’re only the beginning! Watch the whole video below in which she tells anecdotes and answers questions from Sarah and fans. We learned so much from Jeannette Walls in the time she was here, and we can’t wait to see the movie! 



Featured Image Courtesy of Facebook Live