Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Best True Life Novel I’ve Ever Read

I’m not sure if a “true life novel” is an actual genre, but I like the idea. Jeannette Walls chose to call her second book, Half Broke Horses, a true life novel. She says in the author’s note that although the characters were real, Walls took the liberty to fill in gaps and change names to keep the story flowing and protect people’s privacy. It’s what you want out of a novel, and it’s a fun feeling to think most of it actually happened. Half Broke Horses is about Jeannette Walls’ headstrong independent grandmother Lily Casey Smith. Lily grew up in the beginning of the 20th century ahead of her time, but forced to follow society’s norms. Her fierce independence leads her to many paths in her life, and darn it if she’s not going to learn a lesson from every one. Her “it’s my way or the highway” approach to life gets her in trouble sometimes, but it’s hard to not respect a woman who knows what she wants and how she wants to be treated. Her life is filled with ups and downs, like most people, but it’s Lily’s personality that makes this story so fun to read. If you liked Walls’ biography The Glass Castle, I would recommend this one for sure. In fact, I kind of want to go back and reread Lily’s section in The Glass Castle, just to get a different perspective.

No comments:

Post a Comment