Half Broke Horses: A True Life Novel, by Jeannette Walls

Really a biography of grandmother Lily Casey Smith, but written in the first person with her grandmother as the narrator, this book is filled with fascinating stories of life in the American West in the first half of the 20th century. Through the book’s short chapters of family stories, I got a real sense of the kind of smart, no-nonsense, hard working woman Lily must have been. Born on a ranch to a delicate mother who was unsuited to frontier life and a father whose handicaps did not stop him from becoming a successful quarter horse breeder and trainer, Lily in these stories shines as a rancher, teacher, horse trainer and darn good poker player who would not have suffered fools gladly. I really enjoyed her story, told by granddaughter Jeannette, also the author of her parents’ story, The Glass Castle.

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RATING: * * * * Very, very good
Reviewed by: kh

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Filed under Biographies and Memoirs, Historical Fiction, Non Fiction, Staff Picks

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