Half Broke Horses

Half Broke Horses

A True-life Novel

Book - 2009 | 1st Scribner hardcover ed
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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.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2009
Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed
Branch Call Number: FICTION WAL
Characteristics: 272 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9781416586289


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Nov 17, 2020

Loved this novel.

Aug 22, 2020

good book

Apr 01, 2020

You are going to want to get in line for this. Same author of The Glass Castle, this is better. Just seeing the pictures at the top of every chapter makes this worth checking out. Lily Casey Smith, a woman who knows herself, is a a force of nature. Ahead of her tome, cowgirl, feisty, opinionated and brilliant. Glass Castle was made into a movie with a stellar cast - Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, and Naomi Watts. There’s a long wait list for Glass Castle. So, read Half Broke while you wait. I now want to quit my job and go live on a ranch. Or, at least hike the Grand Canyon. From Half Broke Horses - Here’s a snippet: “in the outhouse, once you’d closed the door that didn’t have a moon, enough to light came through the cracks in the wood so that you could see. ..... A distinctly malodorous aroma arose from the hole, and for a moment I missed my snazzy mail-order toilet with the shiny white porcelain bowl, the mahogany lid, and the nifty pull-chain flush. I sat down, though, I realized that you can get so used to certain luxuries that you start to think they’re necessities, but when you have to forgo them, you come to see that you don’t need them after all. There was big difference between needing things and wanting things—though a lot of people had trouble telling the two apart—and at the ranch, I could see, we’d have to pretty much everything we’d need but precious little else. Next to the seat was a Sears-Roebuck catalog, I picked it up and leafed through it. I came to a page advertising bodices and lacy chemises. I wont’ be ordering this page. when I was done with my business, that was the one I tore out and used.”

Jan 23, 2020

Excellent read! Her humour in the midst of misery, was refreshing!

Oct 10, 2019

After reading “Glass Castle,” we were interested in anything else by this author. “We” because I have been reading to my wife, who can barely read anymore. Lily is Jeanette’s grandmother, and while the book is a biography of sorts, based on oral history, Walls calls it a novel, because she wrote it in the first person. The writing is clear and straight ahead. Lily was born in 1901, a tough time for a woman to be seen as anything other than chattel, but she must have been a force to be reckoned with. I (we) enjoyed the book and recommend it.

May 27, 2019

I was hooked from the first sentence! Interesting and fun read.

Feb 11, 2019

By the Same author who wrote The Glass Castle, this book tells the life story of Jeannette's grandmother Lily from a first person narration. A strong-willed woman living on rural land, she shares what life was like living under poverty and what she did to ensure the survival of her family and instilling life lessons in her children. While I did not mind reading this book, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Maybe Lily's life was indeed one of adventure and thrill with her horses, her bootleg liquor, poker, planes, teaching career and more but the amount of detail that went into describing all the events made some of it sound a bit unrealistic. I wouldn't discourage anyone from reading it but I don't think won't encourage it either.

Feb 10, 2019

An amazing story about the life of a resilient self made woman and her family in the American Southwest during the first half of the twentieth century. The less than three hundred pages include some interesting details about the local Havasupai people and their way of life.

Nov 21, 2018

Wonderfully done. This is also a "family tree" prequel to The Glass Castle.

Nicr Aug 12, 2018

Straightforward, entertaining account of politically incorrect, ever-controversial "Lily Casey, the mustang-breaking, poker-playing, horse-race-winning schoolmarm of Coconino County" (also rancher, pilot, etc.). "[H]ers is one of those heartwarming stories about indomitable women that will always find an audience" (Publishers Weekly).

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Dec 19, 2010

MelissaBee thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Oct 22, 2010

Karlie85 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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Oct 22, 2010

"We're all just one step up from the beasts and one step down from the angels."


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