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Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel (True Life)
Half Broke Horses A True-Life Novel - True Life Author:Jeannette Walls Jeannette Walls's The Glass Castle was "nothing short of spectacular" (Entertainment Weekly). Now she brings us the story of her grandmother -- told in a voice so authentic and compelling that the book is destined to become an instant classic. "Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did." So begins the story... more » of Lily Casey Smith, in Jeannette Walls's magnificent, true-life novel based on her no-nonsense, resourceful, hard working, and spectacularly compelling grandmother. By age six, Lily was helping her father break horses. At fifteen, she left home to teach in a frontier town -- riding five hundred miles on her pony, all alone, to get to her job. She learned to drive a car ("I loved cars even more than I loved horses. They didn't need to be fed if they weren't working, and they didn't leave big piles of manure all over the place") and fly a plane, and, with her husband, ran a vast ranch in Arizona. She raised two children, one of whom is Jeannette's memorable mother, Rosemary Smith Walls, unforgettably portrayed in The Glass Castle. Lily survived tornadoes, droughts, floods, the Great Depression, and the most heartbreaking personal tragedy. She bristled at prejudice of all kinds -- against women, Native Americans, and anyone else who didn't fit the mold. Half Broke Horses is Laura Ingalls Wilder for adults, as riveting and dramatic as Isak Dinesen's Out of Africa or Beryl Markham's West with the Night. It will transfix readers everywhere.« less
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Kelly N. - reviewed Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel (True Life) on
Helpful Score: 14
This is the second book I've read by this author and I have to say, I really like the way she writes. I feel like I'm reading a diary of a long-ago relative (though the book isn't written in diary style). It's a great story about a woman growing up in the "wild west" during the early 1900's, but she's not a "typical" woman of the era. She helps run ranches, teaches school, sells bootleg liquor from under her baby's crib to make ends meet....she just never allows anyone to fit her into a certain role or stereotype. A very entertaining book that makes you wonder how much of it is true and how much is creative writing but doesn't make you wonder why you're reading it.
A very enjoyable read about a fiercely independent, rather remarkable young woman. She faced injustice and disappointments with a stubborn determination, learning to cope early in what was then very much a "man's" world.
Another really good book by Jeannette Walls. It's hard to believe that this is actually an account of someone's life - it is so very interesting and full of adventure. How this family survived and even thrived throughout life with so little to call their own is just amazing. This was the story of her maternal grandmother's life -- it left me still wanting to know more from her mother's perspective. It's an easy read & I highly recommend it.
While I didn't expect the author to top her previous book, The Glass Castle, I was wrong. I LOVED this book! It's the true-life story of the author's grandmother, who grew up in the early 1900's. It coveys a strong sense of what life was like in rural America at that time, and I loved the main character's spirit and determination. The author has a wonderful writing style, including just the right amount of detail to convey a feeling of the time and place without weighing down the story.
This book is spell binding. It really brought to life a different time. The writer's grandmother, when she was 15, rode pony for three weeks across New Mexico and Arizona to take a job teaching.
Besides being a good book, this book solved an interesting problem for me. When my 90 year old mother was in the hospital, and we weren't sure that she was going to make it, I read her this book. Sometimes people want company, but we all run out of things to say. And as memory starts to slip we were doing the same topics over and over. So....
I started reading her this book. Everyone loved it. Even my Dad. Soon they were both talking about how the book reminded them of this and that. How things were similar for them and how they were different. At one point, my whole family was there, including my kids, and we had the room pretty full.
When I had to travel back home, Dad took over the reading, because they both wanted to see how it ends.