I read Jeannette Walls’ memoir The Glass Castle when it first was published and was impressed with her ability to touch people and pull on their emotions. When I first heard that she’d written a book about her maternal grandmother I was really interested but for whatever reason I never really got around to reading it. Flash forward to a month ago, I was at Goodwill and found a copy for a dollar and thought it would be irresponsible of me not to buy it.
Half Broke Horses is a little different from her memoir, it’s a “true-life fiction” based on Lily Casey Smith documenting her life in the Southwest in the early half of the last century. Lily sounds like an amazing, tough, spirited women and a true force of nature. School teacher, rancher, poker player, selling bootleg liquor, and horse racer – there way no mountain she was afraid to climb.
Her story as relayed through Walls is a nod to a time in American life that is often skimmed over in textbooks – the time between cowboys and wild, untamed deserts, and the population of the southwest (thanks in large part to air conditioners becoming more affordable). I enjoyed learning more about the history of this era and Lily’s story is one to read!