Half Broke Horses
by Jeannette Walls
Quote: " We're not so darned broke that we need our daughter digging around in someone's garbage for a two-sent bottle." ~ Jim pg. 160
Started: Aug. 8, 2012
Finished: Aug.11, 2012
From the cover:
" Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did." So begins the story of Lily Casey Smith. Jeannette Wall'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 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, Jim, she 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. 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.
I loved this book from cover to cover. I could rarely put it down and when i wasn't reading it, i was thinking about it. This entire book was real! There was never a question of its accuracy. Walls did a wonderful job of retelling the life of her grandmother. I loved that it was written in first person and made you feel as if she herself were telling you a story, her story. This book included a few pictures of the actual characters, which was a wonderful addition. You could actually picture them living, doing the things she tells you about. From the adventure, blessings and tragedies, her life was real. She never sugar-coated how things were and how it made her who she was.
I only wish it had told more about her brother and possibly her own parents. It seems after moving away she had a faded relationship with them. although she does tell that she visited them roughly twice a year. I also felt that lil Jim got left out. I know he was away at school most of the time after a certain age. It just felt like there was too much emphasis on Rosemary(author's mother). Almost as if she were an only child. Otherwise it was a nice read.
* 4 stars*