I read this book in three days. I couldn’t put it down.
Obviously, when you recognize the author’s name you compare it to “The Glass Castle”. No, it’s not as good as that book, which was really powerful and memorable. But there’s no need to compare – I really enjoyed reading this book.
First of all, Walls’ writing style had me totally mesmerised from the first page. There’s something about the way she writes that makes me feel that those two sisters, their unstable mother and even the two emus are so real. Yup, emu, the animal. Two of them. The fact that the author combines the backdrop of racial tension following the integration of schools in Virginia, along with prevalent norms and different perspectives playing out in a small town vs. “city folk” add many thought-provoking dimensions to the story.
I must also admit that the “teacher side” of me also kicks in. It could be a great book to discuss with high school students. Many issues that are relevant to all teenagers come up, with the wonderful message that running away from your problems isn’t going to make them go away.
In short, I’m glad I read the book!