Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

Half Broke Horses is sort of a prequel to one of my very favorite books, The Glass Castle.  The stories from Jeannette Walls’ grandmother’s life are enjoyable and hair-raising at the same time.

Lily Casey Smith was born in 1901.  In the book, she tells her adventures in her own voice.  She was a mustang breaker, schoolteacher, ranch wife, bootlegger, poker player, racehorse rider, bush pilot and mother of two.

In an author’s note, Walls writes that she considers Half Broke Horses less a novel than an oral history, a retelling of stories handed down by my family through the years.

Since I love to hear the story of a family, to put the pieces together from the generations, this book was perfect for me to read in the very few precious minutes I had for reading last year.  I squeezed it in sometime in the winter, but really it’s a great summer read.

Part of why I blog is to record some of our family stories for my kids, before I forget them.  I would love to write the stories of my grandparents and parents down like this one day.


  1. Um, I need to read that. Give it here…

  2. just finished it today.

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