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Half Broke Horses by jeanette walls

Half Broke Horses (original 2009; edition 2009)

by jeanette walls

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3,0751901,845 (3.97)1 / 197
Title:Half Broke Horses
Authors:jeanette walls
Info:scribner (2009), Paperback
Collections:Your library

Work details

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls (2009)

  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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English (191)  Spanish (1)  All languages (192)
Showing 1-5 of 191 (next | show all)
I loved Glass Castle, and I loved this look at Jeannette Walls character of a grandmother, Lilly Casey. Jeanette's mother, Rosemary, brought to light in Glass Castle, lived quite an existence in the shadow of her own larger-than-life mother. Lilly Casey was born in 1901 and from the get-go she was determined she would not be meek and mild like her mother, and she blazes her way through a plethora of adventures. She lived her life in a practical manner and had no room for sentimentality. She wanted to teach school, work the cattle ranch she and her husband started, and she lived with no frills. Walls says the stories of her grandmother are true, but she invented the first-person dialogue, so the story has to be called fiction. It's a look at the American southwest during the early-to-mid 1900's that makes the reader aware of the hard life, but the beauty of it, too. ( )
  Dmtcer | May 4, 2016 |
This work, though highly touted, fell short of my expectations. It was a hybrid memoir/novel and excelled at neither. Yes, the life depicted was interesting, certainly different. But I was left feeling at the end a sense of "and so what was your point?"

Calling it a "true-life novel" set expectation that the work would have a story arc. It did not. As a memoir, I wanted to see more of a thematic element, more fully developed.

Though Jeanette Walls is no doubt a talented writer, in my opinion her effort to "straddle horses" in this work fell flat. ( )
  Frances.S.Brown | Apr 26, 2016 |
Huge disappointment. She just assembled a pile of lazy cliched stories about pioneer women in the old days, and then toughing out it in the depression etc, called it a book. ( )
  TheBookJunky | Apr 22, 2016 |
Jeannette Walls's "The Glass Castle" is a very tough book to beat. The almost unbelievable tale of an abusive childhood spent with totally irresponsible parents, it became a book club staple and basically invented the Misery Memoir genre. Happily, no sophomore slump here. Walls is an incredible writer who tells the story of her adventurous, pioneering, ranching, teaching, crop dusting grandmother Lily Casey Smith in that woman's splendid voice. Photos are a fabulous addition to the narrative. Riveting and colorful, the reader is now given enough background to really understand the blissfully freestyle childhood of Walls's mother Rose Mary, which led to the horror of Jeannette's scattered upbringing. Cinematic Western writing, reminding me of Edna Feber's "Giant" and "Cimarron", not to be missed. ( )
  froxgirl | Apr 4, 2016 |
I'm a sucker for tough, independent women with a pioneering spirit. In this fictionalized memoir of the author's grandmother, Lily, we meet a woman who doesn't let flash floods, foolish parents, a silly sister, the Great Depression, yellow fever, men's expectations, women's expectations, or half broke horses get her down. Feisty, sharp, and very entertaining. But I'm still wondering about the radioactive rocks under the house! ( )
  debs913 | Apr 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 191 (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.
Last words
(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)

(summary from another edition)

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