Half-Broke Horses: A true-life novel by Jeannette Walls.
Library Call Number: PS3623.A3644 H35 2009.
Author Walls introduces us to her grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, by way of an autobiographical/fictional rendition of her life. Growing up in the early 20th century on a ranch in Texas, Lily’s first home was a dugout in the bank of a creek, with a sod roof browsing goats occasionally stepped through and walls that gophers, snakes and scorpions would regularly pierce. Helping her father break horses by the age of six, Lily fought for the education that led her to become a schoolteacher, grew up during the Great Depression and eventually settled on an Arizona ranch. Replete with real-life drama and tragedy, the stories of Lily and her family provide a wonderful and evocative glimpse into western America in the early to mid-20th century and illuminate much of the self-reliance and self-discipline necessary to survive in that era. From the flash flood in the opening chapter to the tragedies of her later years, this is a modest American woman worthy of great respect.