In a New York taxi, Jeanette Walls watches her mother searching for food in a dumpster.
Why does she want to live like this?
At age 3, her parents let Jeannete cook her own food on a gas stove. She is severely burned when dress caught fire, requiring skin grafts for a large portion of her body.
I like sausages, but that's all we eat most days...
The family always moves around, running away from bill and tax collectors. They settle for a short time in Midland, in the Mojave Desert, where Rose Mary gets pregnant.
Great! You can bring me gypsum for my sculptures!
I got a job at the gypsum mine !
In Blythe, CA, the children go to school for the first time. After that, the family moves to Battle Mountain, NV, but in both occasions they had to escape due to situations involving the police.
Jeann, I hope I don't have to protect you against those bullies again today..
The only thing I like in school is that people say that I am smart.
Battle Mountain, Nevada: Rex buys a derelict train depot and makes it a home for the family.
Jeannete, I got a job at the barite mine as electrician!
Battle Mountain Train Depot
Good Dad! I kind of like it here, I hope we can stay around longer...
When the family moves in with Rex' parents in Welch, WV, their Grandma gropes Brian and, when she is confronted by Lori, the event becomes physical. Upon his return, Rex accused the kids of being disrespectful towards his mother and, soon, the whole family gets kicked out of the house.
I can't believe Erma would do something like that.