When Jeannette Walls was 3 years old, she set her favorite dress on fire and burned herself making hot dogs. After a week in the hospital, her father decided that the doctors didn't know what they're doing. He took her home without paying.
Jeannette's father piled his wife and their three kids Lori, Jeannette, and Brian, into the car to do "the skedaddle," or running away from tax collectors. He abandoned the family cat, causing Jeannette's little brother Brian to worry about the dog.
After moving to several other places, the Walls family, who by now has had another little girl named Maureen, moved to Welch, West Virginia, and bought a broken down house with two rooms and no indoor plumbing. They planned to renovate it but never did.
When Jeannette got to high school, she started writing for the school newspaper and realized she wanted to be a writer.
The Maroon Wave
Lori moved to New York City, and Jeannette moved in with her shortly after, where she started writing for a newspaper called The Phoenix. When they were old enough, Brian and Maureen moved to New York as well, and their parents moved there too out of jealousy.
Maureen started abusing drugs, and eventually tried to stab her mother. She was sent to a mental hospital, and after she was released, moved to California.