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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I enjoyed this book for the history of the southwest and for what it was like living on a large ranch. The reading is dry and I had to stick it out, but the story held my interest. If you can get past the reader and you like history this is an interesting book.
Loved this author and the story
I loved this story and I like her voice. I’ll definitely listen to another of hers again.
Five stars for the book. 0 stars for the narration!
Jeanette Walls writes a great book but is a TERRIBLE narrator -- which explains my rating! Her voice is flat and boring -- devoid of any emotion, which I find amazing as she must have felt the excitement, joy and sadness as she penned the words. I hope she will continue to entertain us by writing many more books but pleeeeeease Ms. Walls: hire a professional reader to narrate in the future!