Jeannette Walls, her brother, and sisters are children of parents whose interests include everything but parenting their children. Roles become reversed and it is the children who learn to fend for themselves and try to steer their parents in the direction of "responsible adult'. The fact that all four children made it to adulthood is remarkable.
From the beginning paragraph describing a little girl burning herself at the stove cooking hot dogs, this memoir captivated me. While certainly the case for child abuse can be made here, what is interesting to me is that I did not get a sense of malicious intent to mistreat the children. Rather, in my opinion, the parents became frustrated with their family responsibilities while attempting to pursue their many endeavors which were far more interesting to them, for example, the mother's love of art and the father's interest in architecture.
This is a powerful story that will offer the reader a wide range of emotions.