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Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel Hardcover – 6 Oct 2009

28 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company (6 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416586288
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416586289
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,660,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

`Half Broke Horses has immense power and readability' --The Times Novwmber 21st 2009 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By CJuniperG on 21 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
Jeannette Walls does it again, sharing her family history beautifully; digging deep and not holding back. Half Broke Horses, a quick read with narrative that carries you along at a horses gallop through rough desert life, glamorous Chicago, one room classrooms. It's a first hand account of early America told blunt and to the point. One gets the feel that is how Lily Casey Smith would have wanted her life to be told, no frills, just darned good writing. This book makes you think of where you come from, of your ancestors and what runs in your own blood.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Joe HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 July 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Scarlett O'Hara (of Gone with the Wind) was my kind of gal. She was tough, she was sassy, she knew what she wanted, and she never let anything or anyone get in her way." - Lily Casey Smith in HALF BROKE HORSES

Back in 2008, I read and reviewed Jeannette Walls's memoir of growing-up, The Glass Castle: A Memoir. In that review, I wrote:

"What's remarkable about Jeannette's story is her lack of bitterness towards her parents. Only on a couple of occasions does she even hint at laying blame on them for irresponsibility and negligence. Besides, her love for them endures. To me, and perhaps other readers with more `normal' childhoods, Rex's and Rose Mary's treatment of their offspring was neglect verging on abuse."

Jeannette's original thought was to pen a sequel focusing on her mother's childhood. But, in HALF BROKE HORSES, she goes back one generation further to focus on her maternal grandmother, Lily Casey Smith. The story is a novelized autobiography told in the first person by Lily. (Since the narrative eventually includes Lily's daughter/Jeannette's mother Rosemary - or Rose Mary as she preferred to be called - author Walls accomplishes both purposes.)

Just as Lily appreciated the character of the fictional Scarlett O'Hara, so the reader may well appreciate the character of the real-life Lily. She was tough and independent in an age when women were still considered, by and large, to be the weaker sex.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. C. E. Roberts on 17 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I came to this 'novel' after reading The Glass Castle by the same author. Whilst not quite as memorable as The Glass Castle, Half Broke Horses tells the fascinating life story of Walls Grandmother, Lilly Casey Smith, and leaves off almost where Glass Castle begins, if you have the opportunity read them both starting with this one.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 24 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
I read this book on the recommendation of a friend from Texas, and since I read it I have recommended it to many of my friends. It is a wonderful book, written as a record of an amazing life, the life of the authors maternal grandmother. I loved this book and would recommend that you read this first and then move on the her story based on the life of her mother.
I loved her grandmother's voice, and I read the book at a gallop, I could hardly bear to put it down.
Read "The Glass Castle " after you have read this book, I guarantee you that you will love them both. A great find and an author I look forward to reading again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susanna Beer on 4 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a highly evocative account of a woman living in the Southwest States in the 1930s, describing the harsh conditions she encountered in her family life, and after breaking free and struggling to make a life for herself with scant resources. It is written in an understated and calm manner, which bring the dramatic events, which overtake her into even sharper focus. Knowing this region well, I was impressed by the depiction of landscape and climate and their inevitable and often doom-laden influence on the lives of the characters. Altogether an excellent read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By toasey22 on 15 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
Brilliant book! I enjoyed this book form beginning to end. It reads more of a story than a memoir, kept me interested all the way through. It was a shame it had to end.
I would definitely recommend reading this book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ms. J. C. Caswell on 1 May 2011
Format: Paperback
I really loved this book. The author puts you right there on the ranch in the heat, in the mud and in the sunshine. She painted the picture perfectly to place you with Lily at every step of her journey.
Really great read and all finished in two days flat.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By C. Colley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 18 April 2010
Format: Paperback
Based on the life of the authors maternal Grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, this novel takes a fascinating look at Lily's family and upbringing.

Born in a dug out on the banks of a river in West Texas, Lily grew up fighting the elements and loved nothing better than helping her father tame wild horses.

After Lily left home, she fulfilled her ambition to teach and went on to run a ranch in Arizona with her husband and two children.

I enjoyed this novel very much and read it in two sittings. Lily experienced so much in life, she coped with her fair share of heartbreak and her strong character stood out.
I found it very easy to be drawn into Lily's life, and the many people that shared it.
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