Half Broke Horses

Half Broke Horses

A True-life Novel

Book - 2009
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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.
ISBN: 9781416586289
1416586288
9781416586296
Characteristics: 272 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm.

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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).

JCLHeatherM Jul 08, 2018

"Anyone who thinks he's [she's] too small to make a difference has never been bit by a mosquito," - Lily Casey Smith

Lily Casey Smith was a pioneer (literally and figuratively) and continued to challenge the world she lived in when she felt convicted to do so. Wearing many hats as a mother, wife, teacher, rancher, and advocate, Lily never settled for second best and refused to give up (though there were many occasions when she could of).

As Jeannette Walls' maternal grandmother, Lily was a constant and consistent force in her granddaughter's life - her death when Jeannette was only eight years old left a great impact. Lily's legacy lives on through Walls' intimate novel about her life (mixing a little fiction to go along with established oral history).

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cdbeaubien
Apr 09, 2018

Lily Casey Smith was an amazing person, let alone woman! I am glad her granddaughter, Jeannette Walls is an author who is capable of telling her story.

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singidunum_25
Nov 16, 2017

Wonderful, rich and engaging writing. True life story of survival and making something in life off very little or nothing. True human spirit on display. Don’t miss it!

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dirtbag
Sep 13, 2017

Loved this book. It was engaging.

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GLNovak
Aug 07, 2017

This fictional memoir of Lily Casey Smith, Jeannette Walls' maternal grandmother, starts out as a very interesting read about her childhood, being raised by two people who did not realize they were parents responsible for the care and welfare and education of their children. Dad was a trainer of carriage horses and the follower of all his money-making (but never very successful) schemes. Mom came from a genteel background and forever mourned the loss of her 'Gone with the wind' life. Lily's childhood was similar to that which Jeannette wrote about in 'Glass castles' with her own parents. Lily survived her upbringing by being very driven to take care of business, that business being working hard, managing the family finances to keep out of debt and save for whatever they needed, and following her own code of sucking it up and doing what was necessary. This does not explain how Rosemary, her daughter and Jeannette's mother, became the embodiment of her own grandparents - eternally believing that everything would always work out for the best, without any real care or attention from her. Lily's hope for Rosemary to learn by example did not pay off. Lily made me tired after a while with her 'I know best' attitude to life and those around her, and my attention to the story flagged even though the author's writing style did everything it could to carry me along with the narrative.

Jeannette Walls is one of my favorite authors! She tells the story of her grandmother's life as a strong, tenacious, spitfire of a woman living in West Texas and New Mexico in the early 1900s -- an inspiring heroine, no doubt! Has grit, beauty and wisdom I'll use for years. Recommended by Lisa

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Storyz2tel
Jun 25, 2015

Fascinating story of Walls' grandmother, and much more bearable than The Glass Castle. That one tore at my heart, but this one offered hope, humor, and history.

PImaLib_EvaO May 04, 2015

I read this after reading Glass Castle and didn't like it as much.

WVMLStaffPicks Sep 20, 2014

Following on the heels of her acclaimed memoir The Glass Castle, the protagonist of this 'true-life novel' is Walls' Texas grandmother, Lily Casey Smith. If you are craving an entertaining story, complete with history, of one tough, free-wheeling woman, you won't be disappointed.

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MelissaBee
Dec 19, 2010

MelissaBee thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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Karlie85
Oct 22, 2010

Karlie85 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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Karlie85
Oct 22, 2010

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

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