Saturday, May 7, 2011

Books: Half Broke Horses

Run: 3.4mi/35:00

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

The Glass Castle was a best-selling book by Walls that left people intrigued and appalled. Focused on her own childhood, The Glass Castle showcased a family that was nomadic and anything but normal.
Walls has a special talent for making true stories come to life, and that is still the case with Half Broke Horses. While The Glass Castle is written in memoir style, Half Broke Horses is Walls' attempt to novelize the life of her maternal grandmother, and what a great attempt it is.

The author's grandma grew up on ranches in West Texas and then Arizona, and not only is this book a great reading of that ranch life, but also some cultural exposure to the rugged Southwest, an area and history that I don't think gets a lot of attention. A teacher, an independent thinker, and a feisty, feisty woman, Lily Casey Smith, in a way, epitomizes what you might picture as a ranch woman. Walls does a great job of giving Lily a voice, recalling her memory of her grandmother. It's also a great prequel to The Glass Castle, in understanding how Rose Mary Walls becomes such a free spirit.
I love when I begin to read a book already by 50 pages in I can think of 5 people I want to recommend the book to. I think that's a sign of a good read. Another good sign? Reading it in 3 days.

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