This is undoubtedly one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read. And I have read a lot of memoirs! It helps that Jeannette Walls is incredibly talented, as I already knew from having read The Glass Castle and The Silver Star. But her subject here is really what makes this book stand apart from so many others.
“You can’t prepare for everything life’s going to throw at you. And you can’t avoid danger. It’s there. The world is a dangerous place, and if you sit around wringing your hands about it, you’ll out on all the adventure.”
Walls wrote Half Broke Horses about her grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, in first person. She tells it like her own life history, and it’s hard to keep in mind that it’s not necessarily 100% true. In fact, I wouldn’t even recommend trying to keep that in mind because it’s just so enjoyable to take every fact at face value.
Lily Casey Smith grew up on a ranch in Texas in the early 1900s. This memoir tells all about her childhood growing up, her ambitions to be more than just a rancher’s wife, and all of the steps that she took along the way. From the first chapter, I was hooked. She’s a fascinating woman — tough and intelligent and ambitious. I really enjoyed the writing, and the little details about a rancher’s life during that time. I would highly recommend this to any of y’all who enjoy historical fiction and/or memoirs.