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Half Broke Horses: A Review

June 22, 2010

Well.  Tonight I had book club.  I didn’t finish the book.  We read Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls.  I liked it.  I know, I should really finish the book before I tell you all about it, but I don’t have enough time, and I am tired.  I have been feeling kind of “off” since Sunday.  I kind of feel sickish, but not really.  If I get busy I can ignore it, but I am just tired and my tummy hurts and I have a headache.  I just feel kind of meh.  So I want to go to bed.

Anyway, Half Broke Horses starts off like a race horse right out of the gate.  There is not any pussy footin’ around.  I really like the main character, Lily Casey Smith, who is Jeannette Walls’s Grandmother.  The book is written in first person and the voice is incredible.  There are so many exciting and entertaining stories that she tells.  It is like you are sitting in the room with her and she is telling these stories about her life.  My grandmother used to do that.  We would ask her to tell her stories every time we visited her.  Most of the stories have very good lessons, and I believe that is exactly what she intends.   I bet Ms. Walls wrote down all of the stories like she heard them from her grandmother herself.

This story begins when Lily is just a girl, but is already playing a big part in keeping the family business (the ranch) running.  Her father is handicapped, and her mother is too fragile, so the hard work falls to her.  Not that she would have it any other way.  She takes charge of her life from that very young age, and fights through all life throws at her.  She must have been an amazing woman.  The only thing that bothered me, is that the “can do” attitude never faltered.  She never felt helpless, or overwhelmed.  Even when she was sad, and depressed the “can do” spirit came through.  It lacked authenticity to me.  However, if the stories were written to illustrate how it was to hear the real Lily tell the stories, which it seems like they were, then I doubt she would ever admit to feeling weak or helpless.  So in that light, I guess it is very authentic.  You be the judge.  I would definitely recommend it, especially if you have already read The Glass Castle, which is Jeannette Walls’s Memoir of her own childhood (and is an excellent read in its own right).

I just have to do my home work for Thursday, which is reading Blink.  Then, the door is wide open to starting the first one of Laini’s books!  Oh, I cannot be more excited for that!


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