Listen free for 30 days

  • Half Broke Horses

  • A True-Life Novel
  • Written by: Jeannette Walls
  • Narrated by: Jeannette Walls
  • Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (61 ratings)

Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, and podcasts.
Access exclusive sales and deals.
Premium Plus auto-renews for $14.95/mo + applicable taxes after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Half Broke Horses cover art

Half Broke Horses

Written by: Jeannette Walls
Narrated by: Jeannette Walls
Try for $0.00

$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy Now for $28.36

Buy Now for $28.36

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Tax where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

2010 Audie Award Finalist for Narration by the Author

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 15, she left home to teach in a frontier town - riding 500 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.

©2009 Jeanette Walls (P)2009 Simon & Schuster

What the critics say

"Lily Casey Smith is one astonishing woman...a half-broke horse herself who's clearly passed on her best traits to her granddaughter. Told in a natural, offhand voice that is utterly enthralling, this is essential reading for anyone who loves good fiction." ( Library Journal)

What listeners say about Half Broke Horses

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    43
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    45
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    37
  • 4 Stars
    13
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Like when the author narrates😁

This book feels very true to life and includes many unique adventures.
Jeannette does not try to pretty things up.
#audible1
The characters ring true and are very memorable.
I would recommend reading this (her second book) before The Glass Castle (her first book) because the timeline is then chronological.
I enjoyed the setting because I have traveled in the area.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely loved this story

Wish I’d read this first and then read The Glass Castle. It helps make so much sense of who Rosemary is as a person and why she made those seemingly bizarre life choices. Loved Lily and her tough attitude to life. An inspiration for sure.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent story

Loved this. Almost more than the glass castle! Finished in 2 days:) easy listening and well narrated

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful transporting narration!

Jeannette managed to capture a time, and geography, and all the characters so vividly through the eyes of her grandma. What a wonderful, entertaining journey her story takes us on. Lily is perfectly rendered and the reader can see her fully formed and hear her authentic voice! Loved this book!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Half Broke Horses

I throughly enjoyed listening to this book it was was entertaining and hard to put down! I recommend reading this book after the Glass Castle!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

loved it

Truly entertaining and laugh out loud funny! Enjoyed it more than the Glass Castle which says a lot.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

listened to it ALL in one go

A life story told from the prespective of an unapologetic, brazen, tough as nails, cattle woman.

An excellent listen to follow up her other book, "The Glass Castle"

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

loved it

if you enjoyed the glass castle then you will absolutely love this! an amazing author!

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

LOVE love loved it!

What a great book an adventure about days gone by and about a very unique woman. i want more.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Captivating Portrait of a Brave Woman

I love reading about historical times and events through the eyes of a woman... Lilly was tough, courageous, tender, wise and resilient. Her story was especially poignant read in the voice of her granddaughter.

Something went wrong. Please try again in a few minutes.

You voted on this review!

You reported this review!