Sunday, January 9, 2011

"Half Broke Horses" Review

"Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did." So begins the story of Lily Casey Smith.
     Half Broke Horses is a true life novel about the author, Jeannette Walls, grandmother, Lily Casey Smith. She was quite the lady. At six years old Lily was helping her father break horses. Look after her brother and sister, Buster and Helen, as well as helping out with all the chores around the ranch. 
     When Lily was fifteen she left home to teach school in a frontier town five hundred miles away. She and her horse Patches made the trip all alone.  She slept in the woods at night. Each day she would stop in some small town along the way, buy her food for the day, and move on to the next little town. It took her and Patches 28 days to reach their destination.
      Over the years she learned to drive a car, fly an airplane. She married and she and her husband, Big Jim Smith, owned a gas station for a period of time. Later she and her husband, managed a vast ranch in Arizona. They raised two children, Rosemary and Little Jim. 
      Lily survived tornadoes, droughts, floods, the Great Depression, and heartbreaking personal tragedy. 
      I found this book to be very interesting, it is based on Jeannette Walls grandmother Lily Casey Smiths life, as told with the storyteller's liberties. If you haven't read this book, I recommend it, it kept my attention from the first sentence to the last, where the author says: "However...since I have also drawn on my imagination to fill in details that are hazy or missing---and I've changed a few names to protect people's privacy---the only honest thing to do is call the book a novel.
      I liked it so well, that I am giving it 4****.

                          This was a Library book in big print. 
                           I also own the book in small print, 
                             as part of my personal library.


  1. Gigi, I read Jeannette Walls' first book (her memoir) and have been interested in reading this one as well. Nice review!

  2. I think I will read more of her books.

  3. Both the author and her subject are new to me, but this book sounds like something I'd really enjoy. Adding it to my list!