Sarah's Reviews > Half Broke Horses

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls
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's review
Mar 16, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: adult, adventure, biography, history, mental-illness, mother-daughter-relationships, teaching, western, horses
Read in March, 2011

Jeannette Walls broke into publishing with her heart-wrenching memoir, "The Glass Castle." Jeannette was raised by her highly dysfunctional parents, and experienced a nomadic, non-traditional childhood in the Southwest. Rosemary, Jeannette’s mother, deteriorated to where she preferred to be homeless. For most of her adult life, Jeannette has been concerned about her mother's welfare and whereabouts.

In her newest book, "Half Broke Horses," Jeannette researches her family genealogy and tells its history from the perspective of Lily, Rosemary's mother, and Jeannette's grandmother.

Lily is one tough broad. She has been breaking in horses since the age of six, and left her parents in her early teens to teach in the rural Southwest. She put herself through school, and has a no-nonsense, practical attitude towards life and people in it. Though poor most of her life, her work ethic is strong, and she perseveres. Despite her personal life tragedies and hardships, she is determined to do her best and raise resilient, hard-working children.

Lily is feisty and has an uncanny zest for life. If you were intrigued by Jeannette’s grisly childhood in “The Glass Castle,” this biographical novel provides ample snapshots to how our ancestors can shape our lives, for better or worse.

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