Here is what I find amazing - that Jeannette Walls could write so freaking objectively about her parents. This is a story of a not great and often horrific childhood, brought upon four children by two negligent parents, and yet it was described quite matter-of-factly, with the parents described not as villains and not as heroes but as complex human beings. I wanted to hate them and at times I truly did, but even then, I could clearly see why Jeannette and her brother and sisters did not.
The story is compelling, the writing is clear and vivid. Also remarkable is that I've known many adults who use far less than this as an excuse for a lifetime of selfishness and bad behavior, but not once did Ms. Walls direct any blame, anywhere. Nor does she seem to have the type of life today that one feels needs to be blamed on someone. Just impressive all around.