This is a non-fiction story written by Jannette Walls, an American author and journalist. Without preliminary knowledge, many readers might not be able to believe it is a true story.
Her father is smart. However, he just chased his dream and couldn’t continue working as an employee even though their family was struggling with destitute poverty. In addition to that, he suffered from severe alcoholism. In order to buy liquor, he stole the money his children had saved and hid under the bed.
Her mother was like a dreaming girl. She believed she had a talent as an artist and was devoted to painting without paying attention to the child.
I was shocked when Janett scavenged the trash bin at school to find something to eat. I couldn’t believe why her parents didn’t care about the children when they were starved.
However, Janett never bore a grudge against them. Instead of that, she made an effort to survive under such terrible conditions with her siblings.
After reading it, I thought about why Janett could surmount it and finally succeeded as a journalist and an author.
Firstly, occasionally, she could feel a flicker of love in her parents. She was happy when her father was sober. He was quite an attractive man and told her various interesting and exciting stories. Even though her mother seemed to ignore parenting, occasionally she taught children important things in life, for example, not to have prejudice against black people. In addition to that, they gave their children a fundamental education such as reading and mathematics at home, and she was smarter than other students at school. Through such favorable experiences, Janet could believe she was surely loved by parents.
Secondly, she got along with her sister and brother. Whenever miserable problems happened, they tried to overcome them together and do something positive. I believe such bonds between her siblings encouraged her so much, and it gave her courage to face difficulties.
Finally, she could believe her possibilities and future. Instead of complaining about the parents, she always thought about what she could do under the circumstances. By accumulating such efforts, she finally left home and started a new life in New York.
This book taught me the importance of not to abandoning hope and make progress towards the right direction.