This review was published in the New York Times in March 2005, the same year as the book. It starts off by talking a bit about the book, giving the basic outline of the story and how the title gives the backdrop to the hope and ultimate failure of the characters in the story. Francine Prose, the reviewer, then goes on to talk about the characters, particularly the parents Rex and Rose Mary Walls. Prose talks about Rex's struggles with alcohol and the impact of his inability to hold down a job has on the family and how the nomadic lifestyle means the kids grow up quicker, giving the example of Jeanette being able to handle a gun by the age of 4. Prose chronicles the tragedies beset on the Walls children such as the time Jeanette was severely burnt at the age of 3 to the time Lori was bitten by a scorpion and experienced convulsions and the time Brian was molested in West Virgina by his grandmother.
The reviewer then goes on to reflect on the authors ability to write in such detail and how she seems able to detach herself from the story, giving praise to her for not psycho analysing her situation through reflection. Prose finishes the review off by calling The Glass Castle a 'very good memoir' and saying that Walls describes her literary tastes as being stories of hardship and that The Glass Castle would be a book Jeanette Walls would like to read herself, which is something most writers set out to do.