Half-broke horses


Previously on Small Town Stories… I joined the Slow Readers Book Club.

And I’ve actually read the book. Imagine my surprise when this arrived through the post – blazoned with horse imagery and a big gold sticker telling the world that it was a Woman’s Weekly recommended read. “This is why I don’t join a book club” I thought, to the sounds of Tom’s endless mocking. And then someone at work implied that I might also enjoy The Horse Whisperer. I felt like I needed a t-shirt that read “I usually read Janet Frame.”

But the book was good! A quick, gripping read I found myself looking forward to reading, reading instead of doing other things and skipping through pages like nobody’s business. The story is based on the real life of the writer’s grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, which was mostly spent in the middle of nowhere on America’s cattle ranches. It charts here time from little girl to old woman and the amazing everyday adventures she has as a forthright, enterprising, gutsy woman.

I found the writing solid and interesting and the characters enjoyable and true.

My only gripe (I really would recommend this to one and all for an easy read) was that the last chapter seemed a little cheesy. It talked, in the voice of the grandmother, about the writer in way that didn’t ring true to the rest of the book. It was an unwarranted edition and this would have been a stronger book without it.

If you want to read this then leave me a message in the comments and I’ll post you the book. If you like, post one back to me that you enjoyed.


6 Responses to Half-broke horses

  1. Becka says:

    hahaha, oh the Womens Weekly seal of approval! I’ve felt that way reading Oprahs book club reads, so funny. I’m glad to hear you liked the book, I wasn’t able to find it here! From what I’ve heard though I’ll still keep my eye out for it and hopefully get to it someday soon!

  2. tomandemma says:

    Hi Becka – this book is written by an American author so weird that they don’t have it in Canada. Maybe you could get it secondhand off Amazon.com?

  3. Rebecca says:

    I agree about that last bit of the book! The end seemed really abrupt to me, and it also seemed… maybe not out-of-character, but sort of out-of-place. But I think that’s because the writer already has a book about her own life (which picks up at this point). I read ‘The Glass Castle’ after this and it definitely explained to me why the end of ‘Half Broke Horses’ was written like that (though I still felt it was a bit hasty). If you can get your hands on that book, it’s a bit more gripping and has no horses in the story. 🙂

  4. great review! I couldn’t agree more with you on the last chapter. I felt like the end dragged on a little too much. But all in all, such a good read!
    All the best,

  5. tomandemma says:

    Thanks Rebecca for the recommendation of the other book, which I probably wouldn’t have read otherwise. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who found the last chapter weird.

  6. Kirsty says:

    Yeah, looking back on it, the last chapter was a little cheesy, and it could have stood alone without it. Glad you enjoyed it though – I must admit, I also usually steer clear of anything endorsed by… well, you know 🙂

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