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Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel

Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel

Escrito por Jeannette Walls

Narrado por Jeannette Walls


Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel

Escrito por Jeannette Walls

Narrado por Jeannette Walls

valoraciones:
4.5/5 (207 valoraciones)
Longitud:
7 horas
Publicado:
Oct 6, 2009
ISBN:
9780743597234
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descripción

Jeannette Walls's memoir The Glass Castle was "nothing short of spectacular" (Entertainment Weekly). Now, in Half Broke Horses, she brings us the story of her grandmother, told in a first-person voice that is authentic, irresistible, and triumphant.

"Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did." So begins the story of Lily Casey Smith, Jeannette Walls's no nonsense, resourceful, and spectacularly compelling grandmother. By age six, Lily was helping her father break horses. At fifteen, she left home to teach in a frontier town -- riding five hundred miles on her pony, alone, to get to her job. She learned to drive a car ("I loved cars even more than I loved horses. They didn't need to be fed if they weren't working, and they didn't leave big piles of manure all over the place") and fly a plane. And, with her husband Jim, she ran a vast ranch in Arizona. She raised two children, one of whom is Jeannette's memorable mother, Rosemary Smith Walls, unforgettably portrayed in The Glass Castle.

Lily survived tornadoes, droughts, floods, the Great Depression, and the most heartbreaking personal tragedy. She bristled at prejudice of all kinds -- against women, Native Americans, and anyone else who didn't fit the mold. Rosemary Smith Walls always told Jeannette that she was like her grandmother, and in this true-life novel, Jeannette Walls channels that kindred spirit. Half Broke Horses is Laura Ingalls Wilder for adults, as riveting and dramatic as Isak Dinesen's Out of Africa or Beryl Markham's West with the Night. Destined to become a classic, it will transfix audiences everywhere.
Publicado:
Oct 6, 2009
ISBN:
9780743597234
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Sobre el autor

Jeannette Walls graduated from Barnard College and was a journalist in New York. Her memoir, The Glass Castle, has been a New York Times bestseller for more than six years. She is also the author of the instant New York Times bestsellers The Silver Star and Half Broke Horses, which was named one of the ten best books of 2009 by the editors of The New York Times Book Review. Walls lives in rural Virginia with her husband, the writer John Taylor.

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207 valoraciones / 144 Reseñas
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Reseñas de lectores

  • (3/5)
    About a third of the way through this book I realized I'd read it before. Still enjoyed it, but once it felt like familiar territory I put it down.
  • (5/5)
    I won a copy of this book and I have to say, it has inspired me to write some of my remaining family’s history. The author’s words evoke images of life before all the amenities we now take for granted, in such a way that you yearn to have experienced the life of her grandmother, Lily. Lily is such a strong female character – I am happy her story has surfaced and made its way into the world – she demonstrates just how strong and savyy women really are, even in seemingly impossible situations.
  • (4/5)
    This is a fictionalized biography of Jeanette Walls' grandmother, Lily Casey Smith.Lily's father was disabled. He fancied himself as a horse trader and since, he could no longer do it himself, he had Lily breaking colts when she was six years old as a way of supporting his family.But Lily longed to go to school. When finally allowed a chance to attend, she enjoyed a Catholic boarding high school but her rough pioneer ways made her an unusual student who didn't fit in. When the money earmarked for her education was lost by her father in a get rich scheme, her teachers weren't sorry to see her go. Her father assumed she'd come back to the ranch, as he needed her to continue breaking horses for the family support.But Lily had had enough and at sixteen years old set out to take a teaching job at a time when war made certified teachers scarce. Deprived of a way to get there, she rode her horse five hundred miles by herself.Her career, her marriage, her ranch experiences, her realized ambition to pilot the thrilling, new-fangled airplanes, all illustrate an original, gun-toting, tough lady by-passing the conventions of the day.We also see a bit of Jeanette 's mother, Rose Mary Walls', rather chaotic childhood and young adulthood. She is the subject of Jeanette Walls' memoir The Glass Castle, which I haven't yet read.
  • (4/5)
    Read it in a big gulp. Loved the no nonsense Lily and the telling of her life story. Dovetailed Glass castles. Though she called it fiction because she had to shade in a lot of missing information and address conflicting accounts of her family's history. Excellent book.
  • (5/5)
    Fantastic!
  • (4/5)
    I thought Jeannette Wall's book The Glass Castle was ok but wasn't as enamored with it as I was with this book. This is the story of Jeannette's grandmother Lily and her life. It was a fun read, Lily was a great character and I enjoyed the humorous moments. I suppose I enjoyed Jeannette Wall's fictionalized writing more than her own memoir.
  • (5/5)
    Wow, stunning writer.
  • (1/5)
    Boring.....didn't finish it.
  • (4/5)
    very good!
  • (4/5)
    This rich, evocative literary novel-memoir is a true delight. The author recreated her grandmother's life as a story of fiction, but based on the true stories handed down through the family by her mother. Jeannette Walls doesn't disappoint.
  • (4/5)
    Hard to find fault with this personal account of the author's plucky grandmother. The details of ranch life in the Southwest during the 20s and 30s were particularly interesting.
  • (3/5)
    My grandparents all have interesting stories, from my maternal grandmother who grew up in West Virginia and told about how they brushed their teeth with salt instead of toothpaste and washed their hair in kerosene when they got lice, to my paternal grandfather who left Spain at age thirteen when the Spanish Civil War was heating up and swears he met Ernest Hemingway while waiting to board the ship to the States. Last year I discovered that my paternal grandmother's family have lived in the North Carolina mountains for three hundred years; there have to be some interesting stories there.

    For years I've considered putting together these stories, either with the help of my dad and my sister or on my own, but I was always discouraged from proceeding with any of these in part because I felt bad picking one grandparent's story over another's, but more because it's never been clear to me which stories are factual and which are embellished to the point that they're more accurately described as fiction. And then there would be the difficulty of piecing together all of the disparate tales so the story read as a single work rather than a cobbling together of recollections.

    In Half Broke Horses, Jeannette Walls surmounts all of these obstacles to create an interesting, readable story written in the voice of her inimitable grandmother. Lily Casey Smith was clearly a rough-around-the-edges woman, but I found her mostly likable and enjoyed reading her story. Aside from the interest I took in Walls' decision to couch her story as fiction and how that freed her as a storyteller, my favorite part about this book was the description of the setting. Lily Casey Smith doesn't romanticize the Southwest, but she clearly loves it and is a part of it. Seeing Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas through her eyes made my heart yearn for sparsely populated open spaces (if not for scorpions and lack of water). I was daydreaming about a western road trip before I started reading, and now that I'm done with the book, I really want to hit the road (watching the movie Crazy Heart this weekend also contributed---how I miss those wide, open skies!).

    The only trouble I had with this book was that the stories sometimes didn't flow one into the next as smoothly as they might have, and especially towards the end, the narrative seemed to speed up and lack the lush detail it had earlier in the book. In a way, this reflects the way that time speeds up as our children get older, that uncanny way time has of rushing by each time we blink, but I still felt a little disappointed. I wanted more from that last third than what was there. At least I can follow it up with The Glass Castle.

  • (4/5)
    Just another Jeannette Walls masterpiece. It was a terrific book, easy to read and truly exceptional with the first person account. I enjoyed this book so much I really don't know what to say about it. It is a totally different story than her previous novel, but just as intriging none the less.
  • (2/5)
    Would rate this 2-and-a-half points if possible - it wasn't that "I didn't like it" but I didn't "like it" either! Had it not been a Book Club book, I doubt I'd have finished it. I didn't like the "protagonist" (in inverted commas because Lily was a real person and this book is based on her life, but a lot of it is filled in so it's classed as fiction - it's more of a 'real life fiction'!) particularly and I certainly didn't like her parenting style! Being fair though, the action takes place in the early 20th century so I guess whipping one's child with a belt may have been more acceptable then!

    I think it will make for some interesting discussion though, especially as we're comparing it to my choice (last meet), Helen Forester's 'Twopence to Cross the Mersey', which deals with the same sorts of issues.
  • (4/5)
    By the same author as The Glass Castle., which I loved. It is the life story of her maternal grandmother told narrated in the first person. Not being a huge fan of historical fiction, this book was engaging from the start.
  • (3/5)
    A story about Lily Casey, Jeanette Walls Grandmother (Glass Castle). I enjoyed the Glass Castle, but I didn't enjoy this as much. Lily born in 1901, a ranch hand essentially, a hardworking woman, went after what she wanted hands down. Her daughter Rose Mary, was more of a free spirit unlike her hardworking Mother. I am amazed at the strength of Lily, in those day's it just had to get done, and she accomplished it. I admire Jeanette's Grandmother and loved hearing the pioneer stories. Can't imagine myself growing up in that era, were too spoiled with all of the technology these days.
  • (5/5)
    I enjoyed reading this very much. The stories of this woman's childhood are horribly facinating. I cannot imagine growing up like she did.
  • (4/5)
    This book is good - not as good as The Glass Castle - but maybe thats only because I read The Glass Castle first and I really, really lked that one. I was told by others who read this book that the best part of it is that it explains to you why Rose is the way she is in TGC. I agree. I almost wish I had read this one 1st. I have recommended it to a friend and she is going to read this one 1st so I will be interested to see what she thinks of each book.

    Either way, this book is an easy read and I finished it in 3 days. The characters are wonderfully described and the story keeps you interested from the 1st page to the last. Its definitely one I would recommend :)
  • (3/5)
    3.5 starsJeanette Walls decided to write about her grandmother's life. She decided, since there were a lot of blanks to fill in (and dialogue), she would call it fiction, but she also considers it an oral history of her family. Her grandmother, Lily, was born in the early 20th century and was a spunky woman! She mostly grew up on a ranch, but left to become a teacher. She also lived in the big city of Chicago for a while, before moving back to a ranch. She married, had kids, and continued to move around. I enjoyed this. I (mostly) liked Lily and her spunk, though I didn't agree with some of the stuff she did (I guess, in part, it was the times). It wasn't nearly as good (I didn't think) as The Glass Castle, but it was still enjoyable.
  • (5/5)
    I'm a sucker for tough, independent women with a pioneering spirit. In this fictionalized memoir of the author's grandmother, Lily, we meet a woman who doesn't let flash floods, foolish parents, a silly sister, the Great Depression, yellow fever, men's expectations, women's expectations, or half broke horses get her down. Feisty, sharp, and very entertaining. But I'm still wondering about the radioactive rocks under the house!
  • (4/5)
    I loved Glass Castle, and I loved this look at Jeannette Walls character of a grandmother, Lilly Casey. Jeanette's mother, Rosemary, brought to light in Glass Castle, lived quite an existence in the shadow of her own larger-than-life mother. Lilly Casey was born in 1901 and from the get-go she was determined she would not be meek and mild like her mother, and she blazes her way through a plethora of adventures. She lived her life in a practical manner and had no room for sentimentality. She wanted to teach school, work the cattle ranch she and her husband started, and she lived with no frills. Walls says the stories of her grandmother are true, but she invented the first-person dialogue, so the story has to be called fiction. It's a look at the American southwest during the early-to-mid 1900's that makes the reader aware of the hard life, but the beauty of it, too.
  • (5/5)
    This particular book is Amazing, I have already read two of her other well known novels. Jeannette Walls is such an Incredible writer. All of her stories have an phenomenal plot. If you have an interest in reading novels that are based on true-life events, this is defiantly a book to read. I love this book,This book has many incredible short stories that all surround Lily Casey Smith, whom is the protagonist in this Non- Fiction novel. I love how the chapters are short yet every chapter is filled with spectacular detail and Imagery.I like this novel more than I expected, it has not only caught my attention completely but, I really do enjoy the fact that Jeannette Walls included a lot of references to god and her religion. I am as well a huge fan of the way that between the story telling and the flashbacks she as well included many motivational quotes.
  • (5/5)
    An autobiographical novel centered on the author's grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, who lived a tough life on the plains of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, with some time in Chicago that served to confirm her love of the West. Lily grew up helping her father break carriage horses, and she never lost her love for the animals. She spent her life working with horses and teaching school, eventually marrying and having a daughter, Mary, the mother of Jeannette. The family moved often, depending upon where they found work. Lily was opinionated, strong, and self-reliant. Reading this book is a great background to Walls' first book, The Glass Castle, a nonfiction memoir. Walls' writing is descriptive and gripping, making for a great read.
  • (3/5)
    Much better than the author's first book; I like the novelization of her grandmother's stories. Quite the family. The chapters are short, it's a quick read. The characters are sometimes maddeningly real and complicated. The landscape - especially the American west - are vibrant and larger than life. While not written specifically for a Young Adult audience, I think this is a story every young woman to read.
  • (3/5)
    This is a biography masquerading as a novel. The author has reconstructed the life of her maternal grandmother, Lily, and tells the story in the first person. Lily Casey Smith is an interesting woman -- strong-willed, resourceful and adventurous. Her life was one of overcoming personal and financial set-backs on the beautiful but rugged land of Arizona. As a biography, this book would have worked reasonably well. However, as a novel, I found it lacked depth in the way the story was told and in the development of any characters other than Lily herself.
  • (4/5)
    Reminds me of one of my favorite childhood reads that became tattered from multiple use, The Wild Country. Loved reading about Lily, a larger than life woman who figured that being tough could protect her from life's hardships.
  • (5/5)
    An autobiographical novel centered on the author's grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, who lived a tough life on the plains of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, with some time in Chicago that served to confirm her love of the West. Lily grew up helping her father break carriage horses, and she never lost her love for the animals. She spent her life working with horses and teaching school, eventually marrying and having a daughter, Mary, the mother of Jeannette. The family moved often, depending upon where they found work. Lily was opinionated, strong, and self-reliant. Reading this book is a great background to Walls' first book, The Glass Castle, a nonfiction memoir. Walls' writing is descriptive and gripping, making for a great read.
  • (5/5)
    It was warm and interesting, I also listened to The Glass Castle. I enjoyed the additional back story and context this book provided.
  • (4/5)
    Quite the extraordinary woman, Lily was. Sometimes I just didn’t like her, and sometimes I cheered her on.
  • (5/5)
    Read it for the second time and STILL give it a star rating! Now she should get to work on that "middle story"... the one about her mom. I know she said that was the original plan, but it's time.