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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible True-Life Story
This book brings to life the extraordinary Lily Casey, born in 1901. Witten as a novel, the story is told through Lily Casey`s voice, giving shape to her character. An independent and resilient woman, her amazing real-life adventures provide a view into the era that eclipse any history book. The novel begins with the inspiring episode of an 11 year-old Lily using her...
Published on Aug. 23 2012 by Teri B.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Half broke horses
Definitely not as good as glass castle by the same author.. So far disappointed as I read glass castle and really enjoyed.
Published 16 months ago by jennifer


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible True-Life Story, Aug. 23 2012
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This book brings to life the extraordinary Lily Casey, born in 1901. Witten as a novel, the story is told through Lily Casey`s voice, giving shape to her character. An independent and resilient woman, her amazing real-life adventures provide a view into the era that eclipse any history book. The novel begins with the inspiring episode of an 11 year-old Lily using her wits during a flash flood at her childhood home in West Texas, saving herself and her young brother and sister. She began a teaching career at the age of 15, riding her horse Patches on a lone journey 500 miles through New Mexico and Arizona to her first post in a one-room schoolhouse, where she taught during the day and slept on the floor at night. Continuing through to her later years, this is a rich story, amazing, sometimes heartbreaking, and altogether a wonderful read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Her Mother's Daughter, Jan. 22 2010
By 
Ian Gordon Malcomson (Victoria, BC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel (Hardcover)
This is the story many of us have been waiting for Jeanette Walls to write: an life-long adventure straight from the heart and told the old-fashion way. For many of us who have ancestors who have grown up in grinding poverty, a rough-and-tumble existence, and a make-what-you-will lifestyle of another era, "Half Broke Horses" is the book for you. Here are ten helpful features to look for when reading this gem of a memoir based on a woman's gritty determination to make the most of life in the Arizona desert, especially when times were very rough during the Great Depression:
A. Walls presents a consistently believable picture of her grandmother's life as she constantly looked for ways to overcome adversity. Here is a woman whose resourcefulness and tack usually came down to 'necessity being the mother of invention";
B. Walls takes her readers into the backwoods of Arizona to view the daily existence of little farming communities like Red Lake that no longer exist;
C. The author acquaints us with a sense of what it meant to reside in the remote parts of the country, trying to eke out a meager living as cattle rancher or sheep herder;
D. There are some significant historic landmarks like Route 66 in this story that serve to remind us how these modern pioneers like Lily Casey Smith kept in touch with the rest of the world with her car Fliver;
E. There is a tremendous natural energy in the novel coming from the various forces of nature, i.e. cyclones and droughts, being unleashed on the wilds of northern Arizona;
F. Each page seems to reveal some new dimension about the incredible challenges facing the pioneers of the Southwest, whether they be sodfarmers, ranchers, or wranglers;
G. The book pays tribute to the efforts of women to stand by their men while raising a family. Walls' grandmother was definitely one of those talented women who who successfully plied many trades in order to make sure her family didn't gop without;
H. Devotion and loyalty to family are just some of the endearing themes that hold this book together, especially with poignmant moments of great personal loss. Working together and supporting each other in time of crisis is the simple but vital message Walls wants us to appreciate;
I. In the midst of the tough times, Walls provide her readers with many occasions to laugh or smile over life's little oddities;
J. There is a strong sense of decency in Smith's life that seems to offset the rough frontier justice by which life's problems were usually handled.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An authentic story, Dec 9 2010
Recommended by my book club, I thought Half Broke Horses might be a dull read. How wrong I was! The narrative is unsentimental and entirely engaging from the beginning. I could relate to the story in surprisingly intimate ways - including what motivates Lily as a teacher and as a mother, and her frustrations with certain sociopaths who she gets the better of eventually. It also brings home the grinding level of poverty that afflicted west Texas during the depression years; and how Lily's grit, determination and intelligent, practical solutions find a way to survival and eventual prosperity. The personal insights of the author help to weave an authentic story, based in fact and graphically told, and which is well paced and finely crafted. One of a few books I would consider re-reading in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Half Broke Horses, Jan. 9 2010
This review is from: Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel (Hardcover)
Half Broke Horses was a Christmas gift for my mother. She comes from a farming back ground and used horses to cultivate the land and travel to town. Although she lived in southern Manitoba, the authors experiences were much the same. Recomened for seniors who wish to reminisce about younger days, or those who wish to get a sence of what the pioneers experienced.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Walls again, Sept. 1 2010
This review is from: Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel (Hardcover)
Walls has an interesting style. She was a journalist for 20 some years, that shows through... but it's not all fact and heartless retortion. Her writing is good- it puts you right into the thick of things. She captures the time perfectly.. You feel like you're in Arizona when automobiles just started hitting the road. You can picture Route 66 as a dirt path... it's fascinating. It's a "true to life" novel so there is no major plot or tragic event that unravels everything- it's less dramatic. No big tears spilled or huge bouts of laughter. It's a quick, easy read, not to say that it's uncomplicated. Lily Casey Smith was a real woman, and Walls brings her back to life. Lucky for us.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Half broke horses, July 26 2013
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Definitely not as good as glass castle by the same author.. So far disappointed as I read glass castle and really enjoyed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reminded me of my mother., Jan. 13 2012
By 
Johnny Boy "Ivan" (Sudbury, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
I read this book in two evenings and was amazed by Lily.As I said it kind of reminded me of my mother,a woman who during hard times and the good times soldiered on during the Great Depression.Lost her father,a railway man,in 1918 during her early teen years and being the eldest of six she taught with the help of her mother,her siblings who all turned out well.They were so poor that if the mud pout were not biting they sometimes didn't eat.A tough lady who passed on her knowledge to my siblings and I.God bless her and Lily too.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Half Broke Horses, Feb. 1 2010
By 
Carol C. Markowsky (Rossland, BC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel (Hardcover)
I read Half Broke Horses in a week and thoroughly enjoyed it. Lily Casey Smith was a strong character and reminded me of my own mother's life as a one room school teacher. I have previously read Jeannette Walls Memoir (The Glass Castle) and wanted to read Half Broke Horses to give me some insight into Jeannette's mother's upbringing and the impact it had on Jeannette's rather unusual. I now plan to read The Glass Castle again. Half Broke Horses was an interesting read but The Glass Castle is one of those books that left a lasting impression on me and will go down as one of my favorites.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read, Jan. 12 2011
Jeanette Walls has really created something special. Like her first novel, The Glass Castle, this novel is quirky yet enthralling. Telling the story of her grandmother's life, full of incredible luck, and tragedy, triumphs and struggles. In a way, reading her second book, made me understand and appreciate The Glass Castle even more. An uncomplicated page turner, funny till the end, another great read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Half Broke Horse, Jan. 28 2010
By 
Michelle Pohl (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel (Hardcover)
Glass castle (Jeannette Walls first book) is on of those books that has never stopped haunting me. to now have a deeper
insight into the charcters of that book thru Half Broke Horse is a dream come true. i love the way Walls writes, i am imediatly transported not only to the time and place described in the book, but i can hear the roar of the flash flood and smell the flowers that bloomed after. Walls has a way with dialog in this book that can reveil the charcters strength,and or weakness without leading you to such conclusions. the only thing dissapointing about the book is that it came to an end. i look forward to walls next book.
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Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel
Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel by Jeannette Walls (Hardcover - Oct. 6 2009)
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