Half Broken Horses is the “true-life novel” version of Jeannette Walls grandmother’s life, Lily Casey Smith. Lily is the mother of Rosemary Smith Walls, the subject of Jeannette Walls earlier memoir, The Glass Castle. Lily Casey Smith is portrayed as a progressive woman, who was never conquered by anything life threw at her. The novel follows Lily from age 10 to Jeannette Walls’ birth. Lily leads an exciting life, traveling 500 miles on horse back at age 15 to take up teaching in Red Lake, Arizona with a pearl handled handgun in her bag. From this moment teaching is forever entwined with her life, taking her to various locations throughout the Southwest. Teaching allows her to meet her husband, Jim, who is the father of her two children, Rosemary and Little Jim. Lily survives a surprising amount of tragedy and strife throughout her life and the tough as nails gal manages to survive it all. This is a wonderful quick reading novel, which will never fail to surprise its reader.
About the Author: Jeannette Walls was born c. 1960 in Phoenix, Arizona. She graduated from Barnard College and was a NYC journalist for 20 years. She currently lives in rural Virginia with her husband John Taylor.
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