Monday, December 6, 2010

Half-Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls

another loaner off Michelle's book shelf...

If you loved Glass Castle, you may be interested in reading Jeanette Walls' "true life novel" based on the life of her grandmother, Lily Casey Smith.  This book is written in a very different style that Glass Castle and certainly does not have the personal touch that makes Glass Castle so moving.  Nevertheless, it's a fascinating read about a very eccentric woman.  Lily Casey Smith is one tough bird - and she endures all kinds of hard knocks without being knocked out - her adventures are a lot of fun to read and Walls put a lot of effort into trying to get the stories straight and the details right which certainly pays off.

The most interesting thing for fans of the Glass Castle is the insight we get into Rosemary - Jeanette's off the wall mother, for whom I have a lot more compassion now that I've heard her backstory.  Rosemary responds to Lily's extreme practicality by being a impulsive and artistic, and then Jeanette responds to Rosemary's flightiness by being extremely practical - and the whole family comes full circle.

Recommended: as long as you're not expecting a heart-breaking Glass Castle reading experience, you can't go wrong with this one.

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