From Goodreads: Lily Casey Smith, this novel's feisty Texas protagonist, is a frontier teacher, a rancher, a rodeo rider, a poker player, and bootlegger. In Half Broke Horses, she survives droughts, tornados, floods, poverty, and whatever else fate can throw against her.
Based on author Jeannette Walls's grandmother, Lily is a plausible character because she has a voice that synchronizes with her history.
This novel lives up to the still gathering acclaim for Walls's novel The Glass Castle.
Although I had read, and loved The Glass Castle, I didn't know what to expect with Half Broke Horses. It is classified as both a historical novel and a biography so I just could not be sure what to expect. Would it flow smoothly like a novel? Would it be filled with dates and names and lose it's emotional connection?
Thankfully it read like a first person narrative and although Jennette Walls was a young child when her grandmother passed away, Half Broke Horses was written as though Jennette Walls had known her grandmother very well or her grandmother had been the one telling her grandchild her life story.
Lily is a fantastic protagonist. She is feisty, funny, take no prisoners type who you cam't help but feel in awe over. I didn't expect to be able to relate to her as her life is far removed from any life I could image for myself...but she had the same independent spirit my own grandmother had and once I recognized that...I fell head over heels in love.
I definitely recommend this book, whether you like books about the west, historical fiction, a good memoir....or just a story of a strong, kick ass woman this book is definitely worth a read. Plus it's under 300 pages so a perfect weekend getaway book.