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Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

Half Broke Horses (2009)

by Jeannette Walls

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,8611702,023 (3.98)1 / 195
  1. 11
    These is my Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 (P.S.) by Nancy E. Turner (Electablue)
  2. 01
    Last of the Saddle Tramps by Mesannie Wilkins (SunnySD)
    SunnySD: If you enjoyed Jeannette Walls' tale of her grandmother's adventures, but wish it had been nonfiction, Wilkin's journey across country with her four-footed companions will be right up your alley.

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Showing 1-5 of 170 (next | show all)
I enjoyed this book just as much as I enjoyed "The Glass Castle". On the back it said something about if you like Laura Ingalls Wilder you would love this book and they were right! It had pictures also, which made it even better! ( )
  katherineemilysmith | May 4, 2015 |
17 copies in ILL, including two at Carson. Only 4 actually available now on June 18, 2011. Popular, I guess!
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
This particular book is Amazing, I have already read two of her other well known novels. Jeannette Walls is such an Incredible writer. All of her stories have an phenomenal plot. If you have an interest in reading novels that are based on true-life events, this is defiantly a book to read. I love this book,This book has many incredible short stories that all surround Lily Casey Smith, whom is the protagonist in this Non- Fiction novel. I love how the chapters are short yet every chapter is filled with spectacular detail and Imagery.I like this novel more than I expected, it has not only caught my attention completely but, I really do enjoy the fact that Jeannette Walls included a lot of references to god and her religion. I am as well a huge fan of the way that between the story telling and the flashbacks she as well included many motivational quotes. ( )
  mtsoto | Oct 9, 2014 |
Hard to find fault with this personal account of the author's plucky grandmother. The details of ranch life in the Southwest during the 20s and 30s were particularly interesting. ( )
  emilyingreen | May 28, 2014 |
Half Broke Horses takes us through a time in our history of which we only guess about. For that I give the book high praise. However, although this book was interesting, and definitely worth reading, it left me wanting something more.

I read, The Glass Castle, first, and if I tore off the covers, I would not be able to tell one book from the other. The back cover mentions, ‘Jeannette Walls channels that kindred spirit’, meaning her grandmother. I didn’t read it that way. I was still very curious as to how Lily Casey Smith felt about all those true life adventures she experienced. What about love? Love of her friends, husband, even her own children? What blast of emotions did she feel when her friend died! What about her sister?

The book was very detailed about the descriptions and adventures, but dry with the human interactions. It also dribbled to a close after her daughter, Rosemary got married. Since this was a true life novel, I would have liked it to have completed her and her husband’s lives. It didn’t even let us know how they died, or who died first. If her husband died first, how did she manage?

The book was finished, just not enough. It left me feeling a little irritated because the book was very good. It had so much potential. ( )
  lsfayne | Apr 16, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 170 (next | show all)
The pert style of “Half Broke Horses” is much more repetitive and grating than the more spontaneous-sounding voice Ms. Walls used to describe her own life.

But the author comes from a family that knew how to lure horses using grain, not rope. And she has inherited a version of that skill. So she has managed to make her second book almost as inviting as her first, even though its upright heroine is never as startling as Ms. Walls’s parents were.
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It was the great north wind that made the Vikings.
—Old Norwegian saying
This book is dedicated
to all teachers,
and especially to

Rose Mary Walls,
Phyllis Owens, and
Esther Fuchs

And in memory of
Jeannette Bivens and
Lily Casey Smith
First words
Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did.
I never met a kid I couldn't teach. Every kid was good at something, and the trick was to find out what it was, then use it to teach him everything else.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Publisher Comments:
Jeannette Walls's The Glass Castle was nothing short of spectacular (Entertainment Weekly). Now she brings us the story of her grandmother — told in a voice so authentic and compelling that the book is destined to become an instant classic.

"Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did." So begins the story of Lily Casey Smith, in Jeannette Walls's magnificent, true-life novel based on her no-nonsense, resourceful, hard working, 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, all alone, to get to 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, 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. 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. It will transfix readers everywhere.
Haiku summary
Hearse full of schoolkids?

It's just their bus, don't worry

No dead kids! It's safe.


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A true-life novel about Lily Casey Smith (the author's grandmother) who at age six helped her father break horses, at age fifteen left home to teach in a frontier town, and later as a wife and mother runs a vast ranch in Arizona where she survived tornadoes, droughts, floods, the Great Depression, and the most heartbreaking personal tragedy--but despite a life of hardscrabble drudgery still remains a woman of indomitable spirit.… (more)

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