Having loved the Walls memoir The Glass Castle, I was excited that she had written a new book about her grandmother, Lily Casey Smith. You meet Lily quickly in The Glass Castle, and when I read about her then I wished that the Walls children could stay and live with their grandmother. She seemed to have money, concern, and STABILITY. She was not one to skeedaddle.
I was impressed by Lily’s work ethic. From the beginning to the end of the book she is working. She works as a ranch hand, a teacher, a maid, a cook, a bus (hearse) driver. She is willing to do what it takes to provide for her family. She is honest to herself, has quite the mouth on her, and does not seem to be afraid of anything. She is a survivor. She survives floods, droughts, an unfaithful husband, heartache. It was wonderful to spend 270 pages with her.
While reading the book I wanted to know what went so wrong with Rosemary, Lily’s daughter and the author’s mother. In Glass Castle we see a mother who is absolutely unwilling to do anything for her children, even though they are starving and cold. She had a great example of work and dedication, and she absolutely failed to live up to it. Rosemary seems to have none of Lily in her and too much of her Aunt Helen.
If I had found Half Broke Horses on its own, I would have really enjoyed it. However, it does dim by comparison to Glass Castle, but most books do!