Monday, December 13, 2010

Half Broke Horses......

Since I'm not doing a very good job in my online book club, I have decided to write here about the books I read. I don't read as much as Hubby, so I probably won't be posting about a book more than every other week or so. It's not that I read slowly, but I do most of my reading in bed, right before I go to sleep. When I'm sitting in front of the television, I'm either quilting or playing the handheld video game. That means I only read for 30 minutes or so a night most of the time, so it takes me a while to get through a book. And I am completely incapable of reading more than one book at a time.

Jeannette Walls, the author of Half Broke Horses, calls the book a "true-life novel." The book is about her grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, who grew up on the frontier and later managed a ranch with her husband. The book is told in first person from Lily's perspective, and Walls says she feels compelled to call it a novel because her grandmother died when Walls was only eight years old. She gleaned facts about Lily's life from stories told by other relatives, and she filled in the missing details from her own imagination.

The book is poignant, hilarious, exciting, and painfully honest. Lily backs down from no challenge, and she isn't defeated even by the worst personal tragedies. She is the person I would most like to have been if I had lived in those days, but I am painfully aware that I would have fallen far short of Lily's standards. She is tough and smart, and she treats adversity as an opportunity to learn without whining about how unfair it all is.

When I was looking for an image of this book, I discovered that Jeannette Walls has also written a book about her mother, Lily's daughter, in the book The Glass Castle. I have already ordered that one for my Kindle, and it will be delivered as soon as I turn the device on tonight. (I love technology.....when it works in my favor.) I'll let you know how that one turns out. I won't be able to read it for a couple of weeks, because I'm already into my next book.

In the meantime, if you are looking for some holiday reading, Half Broke Horses is an excellent choice. It made me laugh out loud, it made me cry, it made me cheer, and it made me curse. Just like a true-life novel should.


DJan said...

I will put it on my list of books to read. Thanks!

KatyDid53 said...

I had seen (or heard about) these books somewhere--can't remember where--and had intended to get them at that time. Maybe I will download them onto my phone!