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Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Jeannette Walls

Narrated By: Jeannette Walls

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date: October 2009

Duration: 7 hours 56 minutes


Jeannette Walls's memoir The Glass Castle was 'nothing short of spectacular' (Entertainment Weekly). Now, in Half Broke Horses, she brings us the story of her grandmother, told in a first-person voice that is authentic, irresistible, and triumphant.

'Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did.' So begins the story of Lily Casey Smith, Jeannette Walls's no nonsense, resourceful, and spectacularly compelling grandmother. By age six, Lily was helping her father break horses. At fifteen, she left home to teach in a frontier town -- riding five hundred miles on her pony, alone, to get to her job. She learned to drive a car ('I loved cars even more than I loved horses. They didn't need to be fed if they weren't working, and they didn't leave big piles of manure all over the place') and fly a plane. And, with her husband Jim, she ran a vast ranch in Arizona. She raised two children, one of whom is Jeannette's memorable mother, Rosemary Smith Walls, unforgettably portrayed in The Glass Castle.

Lily survived tornadoes, droughts, floods, the Great Depression, and the most heartbreaking personal tragedy. She bristled at prejudice of all kinds -- against women, Native Americans, and anyone else who didn't fit the mold. Rosemary Smith Walls always told Jeannette that she was like her grandmother, and in this true-life novel, Jeannette Walls channels that kindred spirit. Half Broke Horses is Laura Ingalls Wilder for adults, as riveting and dramatic as Isak Dinesen's Out of Africa or Beryl Markham's West with the Night. Destined to become a classic, it will transfix audiences everywhere.


  • Jeanine T.

    Great story and great narrator

  • Marcyne B

    A very admirable account of strength when needed. Jeannette Walls is becoming a favorite author of mine.

  • Trax

    Great story based on a real woman living in the west during the early years of this country.

  • april stroh

    I wanted to like this book. Unfortunately it was impossible. I have never left a book feeling more depressed.

  • Peggy

    Another great story by this author- enjoyed the entire audio book

  • John G

    I REALLY tried to like this book, but could not make it past the first CD. Having the author read this book was a massive mistake. It was one of those books where you keep waiting for something to happen.......and waiting.....and waiting......never again. Thank God this is the first book I tried to read by this author. Will save me some time.

  • parkejo

    I gave up on this one after the first disk. Wholly uninteresting. I just didn't care at all about what happened to any of the characters.

  • Anonymous

    This was a very good book, I enjoyed listening. If you like the Glass Castle you will again love this!!!!

  • His Rancher Girl

    Good listen, amazing life this woman led. Fascinating listen, fast paced very interesting. Read THE GLASS CASTLE the other work by this author, the amazing tale of the authors life.

  • Teri

    I liked this book, but not as much as her first book. I did love the way she described the times in Ameria, especially the old west, but also her times in the big city. She is an excellent story teller. Please keep writing.

Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel

by Jeannette Walls

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Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel, Jeannette Walls