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Download Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel, by Jeannette Walls Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.00003516669011 out of 53.00003516669011 out of 53.00003516669011 out of 53.00003516669011 out of 53.00003516669011 out of 5 3.00 (56,872 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jeannette Walls Narrator: Jeannette Walls Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[An] eloquent tribute to a pragmatic heroine…A powerhouse—fast-moving, fearless and impossible to forget.” 


  • “Jeannette Walls…once again proves that the combination of gifted storyteller with great stories is both rare and intoxicating.” 

    Cleveland Plain Dealer 

  • “Lily is a spirited heroine, fiercely outspoken against hypocrisy and prejudice, a rodeo rider and fearless breaker of horses, and a ruthless poker player.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2009 New York Times Book Review Top 10 Book of the Year
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A 2010 Audie Award Finalist
  • Selected for the October 2009 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Nicollette | 9/26/2016

    " Lily Casey's story is incredibly interesting and Jeannette Walls does an amazing job of keeping you engaged the entire time (or it could be Lily!) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Karin | 2/19/2014

    " I enjoyed this book. I had read and liked Glass Castle a couple years ago. Half Broke Horses tells about the life of Jeannette's grandmother, so is sort of a prequel to Glass Castle. It is filled with interesting stories about their lives and the the people and places of the time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jackie Mossakowski | 2/11/2014

    " I read The Glass Castle first and I was slightly disappointed in Wall's second book. Saying that seems slightly unfair due to this book being loosely based on the life of her grandmother. Maybe Wall's childhood appeals to me more. Nonetheless it was good. It was short and sweet, full of the dark humor is loved in the first. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Brenda Burleson | 2/8/2014

    " Jeannette Walls has a fascinating history. Read this book in conjunction with The Glass Castle to get a full appreciation of her life and how she rose above it. "

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