Mom’s mother who lived in Phoenix until her death. The reader sees Grandma Smith only through Jeannette’s flashbacks; when the family actually moves to Phoenix as part of the linear narrative, it’s because Grandma Smith has just died. But Grandma Smith, a flapper-turned-schoolteacher who nagged Mom but spoiled Jeannette by combing her hair and letting her try on perfumes, makes it easier to understand both Mom’s and Jeannette’s characters. Mom rebelled against her mother, but Jeannette—in rebelling against Mom—embraces many of Grandma Smith’s traits and values.
The timeline below shows where the character Grandma Smith appears in The Glass Castle. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2: The Desert
...telephone at home—also the first one they’ve owned—using the electric washing machine, and playing with Grandma Smith’s old record player. Mom and Dad dance to old albums, from gospel music to opera. (full context)
...refuses to accept the idea. Mom, though, says she’s inherited some land in Texas from Grandma Smith , and has just received a check from the company leasing the drilling rights. With... (full context)