Maureen Walls is the oddball of the Walls family. She joins a cult and stabs her mother, which lands her in a mental hospital. She then decides to move to California on her own. She thinks California is the best place to live, because it is always warm there. It is the only place she feels she belongs. Maureen thinks her true home is California, where she can dance in the rain, pick grapes, and sleep outside under the stars. This is just one of the many themes that are associated with Maureen’s life.
Despite her plight, Maureen is often forgotten in The Glass Castle. She is born into an abusive environment and experiences a childhood of neglect. She is lost in her siblings’ shadows. Her relationship with Rex is strained, and she calls him a worthless drunk and a pathetic person.
Maureen Walls’ life is a tragic one. During her junior year of high school, she moved away from her family’s home in Welch, IL. She was twelve years old at the time, and had been sleeping and eating at friends’ houses when her parents weren’t home. In order to survive, she decided to leave. This decision was painful for both her parents. She ended up in a psychiatric hospital.
Maureen and her sister Lori are now adults. Maureen is attending college. After moving to New York, she seems to give up on schooling. She and her sister live in a run-down apartment. Maureen wastes her days smoking cigarettes, painting, and sleeping. In a sense, she seems to be a complete failure.