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Half broke horses is a True-Life novel written by Jeannette Walls. The novel tells the story of the author’s actual grandmother, Lily, who happens to be the narrator.
Lily is an extraordinarily strong and independent woman who overcomes times of extreme poverty as well as the rapid change of the world (in terms of technology) that was resisted by a lot of people. Her story draws attention to the numerous ways our male-dominant society tries to control women’s lives, as well as keep them subordinate. However, Lily is able to massively succeed despite her being an impoverished woman in the first half of the 21st century.
I would say this novel is a biography or a memoir wrapped in form of a really eye-opening story. It gives insights on how a literal child makes its way in the world along with emphasizing all the essential aspects of the American Dream such as Individualism, self-reliance, perseverance, ”life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” etc. throughout the story. The colorful picture of children having simple lives and not being held accountable for their behaviors is dismissed in this novel and is replaced by a harsh reality of a girl growing up with little to no guidance who, nevertheless, pushes through the tough times and remains a positive attitude.
The thing I liked most about this novel is how engaging it is. We really get to grow up alongside the character and see how different things were before technology took over the world. To me, as a woman, it is also especially empowering and truly fascinating to read about how a much a woman at that time could step out of the “pity party” and unapologetically take ownership of her life as a human being and behave accordingly.
Reading this book made me realize how little people like to talk about how they started out, where they came from, what it took them to be successful and how much they have failed. By contrast, it is seemingly more “prestigious” to act like success has just been there all along, that we were never broken, that we never failed, and that we never learned, which if we are being honest is far from the truth. So, seeing how honest this biography is, it indubitably leaves the reader – even without realizing it- feeling so warm, empathetic, and engaged. I really wish the novel was a bit longer though, which is the only considerable downside to me.
Even though I do not normally read biographies I have to say that this one definitely exceeded my expectations- from the storyline to how informative it is about American history, thus I recommend you would give this book a try.
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