Half Broke Horses

Half Broke Horses

A True-life Novel

Book - 2009/10/06
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Baker & Taylor
The author offers a novel based on the life of her grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, who learned to break horses in childhood, journeyed 500 miles on a pony as a teen to become a teacher, and ran a vast ranch in Arizona with her husband while raising two children, including Rosemary Smith Walls, portrayed in the author's acclaimed The Glass Castle. Includes reading-group guide. Reprint. A New York Times Best Book of the Year.

Baker
& Taylor

Presents a novel based on the life of the author's grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, who learned to break horses in childhood, journeyed five hundred miles as a teen to become a teacher, and ran a vast ranch in Arizona with her husband while raising two children.

Simon and Schuster
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. Destined to become a classic, it will transfix readers everywhere.

“Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did.” So begins the story of Lily Casey Smith, Jeannette Walls’s no-nonsense, resourceful, 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, alone, to get to her job. She learned to drive a car and fly a plane. And, with her husband, Jim, she ran a vast ranch in Arizona. She raised two children, one who 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. Rosemary Smith Walls always told Jeannette that she was like her grandmother, and in this true-life novel, Jeannette Walls channels that kindred spirit. 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. Destined to become a classic, it will transfix readers everywhere.

Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2009/10/06
Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781416586296
9781416586289
1416586288
Branch Call Number: FICTION WALLS
Characteristics: 272 p

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d
dirtbag
Sep 13, 2017

Loved this book. It was engaging.

g
GLNovak
Aug 07, 2017

This fictional memoir of Lily Casey Smith, Jeannette Walls' maternal grandmother, starts out as a very interesting read about her childhood, being raised by two people who did not realize they were parents responsible for the care and welfare and education of their children. Dad was a trainer of carriage horses and the follower of all his money-making (but never very successful) schemes. Mom came from a genteel background and forever mourned the loss of her 'Gone with the wind' life. Lily's childhood was similar to that which Jeannette wrote about in 'Glass castles' with her own parents. Lily survived her upbringing by being very driven to take care of business, that business being working hard, managing the family finances to keep out of debt and save for whatever they needed, and following her own code of sucking it up and doing what was necessary. This does not explain how Rosemary, her daughter and Jeannette's mother, became the embodiment of her own grandparents - eternally believing that everything would always work out for the best, without any real care or attention from her. Lily's hope for Rosemary to learn by example did not pay off. Lily made me tired after a while with her 'I know best' attitude to life and those around her, and my attention to the story flagged even though the author's writing style did everything it could to carry me along with the narrative.

Jeannette Walls is one of my favorite authors! She tells the story of her grandmother's life as a strong, tenacious, spitfire of a woman living in West Texas and New Mexico in the early 1900s -- an inspiring heroine, no doubt! Has grit, beauty and wisdom I'll use for years. Recommended by Lisa

s
Storyz2tel
Jun 25, 2015

Fascinating story of Walls' grandmother, and much more bearable than The Glass Castle. That one tore at my heart, but this one offered hope, humor, and history.

PImaLib_EvaO May 04, 2015

I read this after reading Glass Castle and didn't like it as much.

WVMLStaffPicks Sep 20, 2014

Following on the heels of her acclaimed memoir The Glass Castle, the protagonist of this 'true-life novel' is Walls' Texas grandmother, Lily Casey Smith. If you are craving an entertaining story, complete with history, of one tough, free-wheeling woman, you won't be disappointed.

k
kindrabirss
Aug 22, 2014

I read this book because I loved The Glass Castle so much and was interested to read deeper into her grandmother and mother's lives growing up. It wasn't fast paced like Glass Castle where there were crazy things happening every chapter but I loved the hard-working determination of Lily Casey Smith. She was a tough cookie and reminded me of my own hard-working grandmother.

s
slarsen
Aug 03, 2014

What a great book!!! Walls is an excellent story teller, putting me beside her mother and grandmother during their very difficult lives. Both learned how to fall. She brought Lily and Rosemary (Glass Castle) to life and I admired them so much for living their life their way!

j
jescar82
Apr 05, 2014

As good as The Glass Castle which is one of my favorite books of all time

s
spudwil
Feb 17, 2014

It was okay, but The Glass Castle was much more interesting. I was curious to see how the author's mother grew up, considering that she lived a nomadic and often homeless life as an adult.

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MelissaBee
Dec 19, 2010

MelissaBee thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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Karlie85
Oct 22, 2010

Karlie85 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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Karlie85
Oct 22, 2010

"We're all just one step up from the beasts and one step down from the angels."

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