Sunday, November 11, 2012

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

I read this book in pretty much 26 hours, from when I began to when I ended since it is very much similar to Walls' Glass Castles book. Unlike Glass Castles, which is Walls' memoir, Half Broke Horses is about Walls' grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, and her life living in west Texas and Arizona. Smith's life begins in west Texas, where her family is stuck taking what the weather will give them, in terms of flash flooding and drought, until their house is destroyed by a tornado. Then they move to Arizona onto a ranch they had been renting. There, Smith learns to break horses and has all sorts of adventures, such as going to boarding school and teaching 500 miles away from home when she was 15 years old. How did she get to her job? By riding solo on horseback for almost a month. She eventually moves to Chicago to experience life in the big city, where she meets her first husband, who, after six years of marriage, she discovers is a bigamist who had a wife with three children before marrying her. She leaves him and moves back to Arizona, trying to carve out a life for herself teaching. She has many adventures, such as learning to drive a car and fly a plane and even gets her bachelor's degree and teaching certificate when she was 40 years old. I definitely recommend this book if you want to get a real glimpse of living on a ranch in the early- to mid-1900s.

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