Half Broke Horses - Jeannette Walls

Half Broke Horses

By Jeannette Walls

  • Release Date: 2009-10-06
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
Score: 4.5
From 1,097 Ratings


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 readers everywhere.

“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 and fly a plane. And, with her husband, Jim, she ran a vast ranch in Arizona. She raised two children, one who 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 readers everywhere.


  • My take on Half Broke Horses

    By Blaze - H.S. ELA Teacher
    Half Broke Horses was an emotionally captivating book that allows your mind to wonder deeply into uncharted territory until the slightest evidence of empathy is discovered then harnessed! The readability of this novel is evident through and through and regardless of your background and economic status, it remains powerful and uplifting with just the right amount of hilarity. Lily Casey Smith is an utter riot and you can't help but feel that either you know her, have someone like her in your life just like her or you are dying to get to know someone of her caliber! Must read!!! Lastly.. it was quite helpful for me as a reader having read The Glass Castle first.
  • This book is for sure interesting!

    By Tender greens
    I very much recommend this book. The detail she gives makes me feel that I'm really there in the 1900's
  • Half Broke Horses

    By swiggy50
    I truly loved this book! It was so well written! The characters never waivered the writer kept them strong and true from beginning to end! I never was bored with the book or found its information tedious. I had originally read Ice Castles, so I knew what to expect, but this was so great!!! Wow!!! Thank you!!
  • Amazing book for teens and adults

    By Holabacho
    This amazing and terrifically interesting novel will combine little house and to kill mockingbird to create a wonderful novel. Caution for younger audiences: themes of suicide, abuse, polygamy, and divorce all play a role in this novel. There is also a crude reference to male anatomy. Otherwise a clean read! My rating: PG-13- thematic material including unsettling themes, sexual reference, alcohol use, and brief strong language
  • Very good

    By Kbear281
    Interesting work of fiction that reads like a memoir. Do yourself a favor and read this book. You'll love the Casey family!
  • Easy read with an eye opening story

    By Johnawc
    I picked up this book at my wife's recommendation. I am the type that will read the first 50 pages, say it hasn't hooked me and look for the next book. I was 200 pages into this one before taking the fist break. The author writes in a manner that is really easy to read, and the tale is one that is irresistible. So often, when we think about the first half of the 20th century in America, we focus on the East Coast and California with little attention to the fly over states. This was a revealing look into how life was lived in Arizona during those days. It brings back tales that I heard from my grandparents that I chalked up to legend. It gives you an appreciation for how tough life was then and how tough the people were. It really makes you question if we could even make it today as soft as Americans have become. This is a spectacular read that you easily blow through.
  • Captivating

    By L'americana
    Perfect read for stealing quick reading moments.
  • The Glass Castle

    By Will the assian
    Loved this book!!
  • Read this book!

    By Jsteph299
    An excellent story written by a gifted storyteller...
  • A great story

    By JthWN
    Wonderful genuine story. I had taken a trip to the Grand Canyon and I thought it was cool to be familiar with the area and the Indian tribes described so colorfully in the story. A delightful read.