The Glass Castle Part 1 - A Woman in the Street Summary

The setting of this memoir begins in present day New York City. The narrator, Jeannette Walls, is on her way to a party when she notices her mother looking through a dumpster. She watches her mother, while slouching down in the cab, and recognizes the mannerisms she remembers as a child-still, she feels a wave of shame. Jeanette lives on Park Avenue and makes a good living. She feels guilty about hiding from her mother in the taxi, so Jeannette gets a message to her mother and meets her for lunch at a Chinese restaurant. Her parents are living homeless in the city. She has offered to help them in the past, but they never accept because they say like the way they live. Also, they were never people to accept charity. When Jeannette again offers to help financially, her mother retorts that Jeannette is the one who is in need of help because her "values [are] all confused." Jeannette then begins her memoirs of her childhood exploring how their choices affected her life. After experiencing the crazy, unbelievable childhood she had, Jeannette became a success. Much of that stems from her parents, and the childhood experiences she is about to recall.

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