Lily Casey Smith, this novel's feisty Texas protagonist, is a frontier teacher, a rancher, a rodeo rider, a poker player, and bootlegger. In Half Broke Horses, she survives droughts, tornados, floods, poverty, and whatever else fate can throw against her. Based on author Jeannette Walls's grandmother, Lily is a plausible character because she has a voice that synchronizes with her history.
After reading, and enjoying, The Glass Castle by this author, I was excited to read this book. About the life of her spirited Grandmother.
It started off as an enjoyable story of a woman who was clearly leading an unusual and interesting life. It was well written in terms of the flow and structure of the story. Where it failed, for me, was that it just never really went anywhere. It just kept telling us what happened next in the life of Lily but after about three of these stories you got how spirited she was, how hard she was and how she would do anything to keep her family going and survive in the world. It started to get a bit tiresome and I kept saying to myself, I get it, she was a plucky woman but I just wanted the story to have more of a purpose.
If it had been written as a pure biography then, I suppose, this would have been acceptable, but it was a fiction novel and, somehow, I just expect a bit more from them.
An ok read if you already have it lying around but not one I would seek out. 3 out of 5 from me.