I remember reading Jeannette Wall’s 2005 autobiography, “The Glass Castle”, years ago. In it, she described her very unusual childhood with her parents, Rex and Rosemary. They lived a nomadic lifestyle, with Rex preferring adventure and excitement to providing for his family, and Rosemary preferring her art endeavors to caring for her children. Jeannette and her three siblings basically had to raise and feed themselves. It was amazing that the author turned out as normal as she did.
“Half Broke Horses” is a prequel to “The Glass Castle”. Jeannette actually wanted to write a book about her mother’s childhood, but Rosemary said the story should be about her mother, Jeannette’s grandmother, Lily Casey Smith. Story after story poured forth from Rosemary to her daughter. Because Jeannette combined fictional detail and dialogue with the historic facts, she labeled the book “a true-life novel”.
Lily was a wild child right from the start. She was fascinated with horses, and was breaking them with her father at the age of six. Lily didn’t enjoy school, but was very intelligent. At the age of fifteen, she landed her first teaching job in a one-room schoolhouse. It took her 28 days to get there, riding on her trusty horse.Continue reading “Half Broke Horses – by Jeannette Walls (2009)”