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Synopsis

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.

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Overall rating

4.1 out of 5
(93)
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    Half Brike Horses

    I couldn't put this book down! The trials and tribulations of her life and her reaction to them touched my heart. Lilly is a strong and sensible woman and says it like it is, sometimes knocking the lace off your panties!

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    Half Broke Horses

    Wonderful book. Great storytelling.

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    I enjoyed this story which takes place in the early to mid twentieth century but the messages are relevant even today. I loved with the main character Lily Casey Smith and her story of one woman's resilience and how she was instrumental in helping her family pull through personal tragedies and life altering events....

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    A great prequel to The Glass Castle

    I really enjoyed this book. It was interesting and well laid out. I highly recommend reading this and the Glass Castle.

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    Good read

    Always an interesting read from Jeanette Walls. Really paints a picture with her words, I felt like I was there taking in all of the landscapes.

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