Information: This is not a happy story, this is not an uplifting story. I read this as my book club's March book. Within the first 10 pages there's so much language (swearing, vulgar, crude, and plain nasty language) that I had to skip a few pages until the language calmed down. Not a great start to a story. As I kept reading I kept hoping the story (life of Jeannette) would get better, happier, and safer. But no such luck. These Wall kids suffered more than most people even imagine could ever happen at all in the US. Its so sad. I cried a few times because its such a depressing story. Throughout the whole book I hated Rex and Rose Mary! What kind of parents would do such horrible things to their own children? Then I became furious at all the adults at the schools these children went to for not investigating their story, even when they had the impression that something wasn't right. I am so proud of and impressed with Jeannette and her siblings. They are so strong, and true, as they were easily able to forgive and get over the horrible life they were born into. I love that they've learned to work hard and have become successful! Just seeing what they've gone through and how positive and strong they are is inspiring, but not enough for me to buy or reread this book ever again. I don't know if I could handle the movie either.
Pros: The only thing that was positive about their story is that the kids were able to escape before more damage could have happened. And in the end none of the Wall children hated, their parents. They forgave their parents and even came to understand why their parent's lived the way they did. I could never read this book again, because I don't like depressing, sad stories. But if you can stomach this type of memoir than read it. If you enjoy true stories, memoirs, and autobiographies this is perfect for you! The plot is a swirling twist of the unexpected throughout the whole book.
Cons: I don't recommend this for the tender hearted, the weak stomached, the emotional woman, and its not recommended for anyone until the age of 16! There is tons of really bad language, some worse than swear words. There is sexual abuse, child abuse, child neglect, lying, stealing, smoking, drug use, sex, immoral behavior, alcohol, prostitution, child slavery (of Jeannette by her father), and graphic imagery of children getting badly hurt, and burned.
Here is an interview clip of Jeannette and her mother! This is why I give this book a thumbs up.