Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

May 15, 2012

I really wanted to read The Glass Castle before reading this one, but when this was selected for book group, I didn't have time to read it first. You definitely don't need to have read it to understand or enjoy this story. I just think it would have given me some added perspective, especially with Rex and Rose Mary, and it would have made Rose Mary's childhood even more interesting. As it is, now I am dying to read The Glass Castle.

Jeannette Walls tells her grandmother's story in first person, and she creates such an authentic voice for her. You just feel like you're sitting at the kitchen table with her while she recounts the events of her life. Even if certain details were fictionalized and certain facts were elaborated, I really do believe that Lily Casey Smith's voice and personality were accurately portrayed. For example, in the book, whenever her first husband is mentioned, she always calls him a "crumb bum." It seemed like that description was used a bit excessively until I realized that's probably how the real Lily Casey Smith always referred to him. She lived an amazing life. I was especially impressed with her attitude when they were kicked off of the ranch...she just looked forward and made the most of her opportunities.

The language is a bit rough for most of the book, and once Rex enters the picture, it gets even more crude. While I didn't love this aspect of the book, I do think it was somewhat necessary to create each person as they really were/are.

I wrote this review before creating this blog.

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