5/10
Fails to capture much of what was good about the book
20 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The Glass Castle was one of my favorite books that I've read recently. But unfortunately, the movie fails to capture much of what was good about the book:

1. In the book the story is told from Jeanette's perspective. She is the narrator and the main character. In the movie there is no narrator and you could make the case that the main character is not Jeanette, but her father, Rex.

2. In the book the main focus is on how the children, through their resourcefulness, are able to overcome horrible parenting. The movie devotes some attention to the children's resourcefulness. But the main focus is on the father's child abuse and neglect, which makes the movie much darker than the book.

3. Except in one dramatic scene that occurs near the beginning, the movie places the blame for most of the bad things that happen to the family squarely on the shoulders of Jeanette's father. But in the book Jeanette's mother is almost as responsible for the family's down and out situation. In one memorable scene in the book (missing from the movie), the children, after going hungry for days, find their mother hiding under a blanket eating from her hoard of chocolate bars.

4. Most of the movie takes place after the family moves to West Virginia, which is the most difficult and depressing time period for the family. Almost all of the lighthearted, funny, and enjoyable parts of the book happen when the family is living out west, before they move to West Virginia. But the movie just skims over that part of the story.

5. The movie has a sentimental, "Hollywood" ending which is not true to the more realistic ending in the book.
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