Thanks to everyone who came to the Field Notes meeting this past Saturday, August 19, to discuss I Liked My Life, and especially to everybody who offered suggestions for the book for September’s reading and meeting. Our choice (hard-fought as it was) is Half Broke Horses, by Jeannette Walls. We’ll be meeting on September 16, from 11 to 12:30, hopefully in the Gallery (elevator permitting), with discussion, coffee and snacks, so come on and join us!
If you read Walls’ previous book, The Glass Castle, you might have wondered (I certainly did) what made her parents so odd, what made them behave the way they did. Her next book, Half Broke Horses, partially answers this question by telling the story of her maternal grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, and her life and adventures in the West before and during the Depression. Told in a very simple, direct style and in the first person, the book reads as if Lily herself were talking to you in a no-nonsense tone. Judging by her account of her life, she had quite the adventure: growing up in a sod house on the Texas plains, breaking horses when she was six, trekking out by herself for hundreds of miles on horseback to become a teacher when she was 15 and hadn’t even started, let alone finished, high school, and then taking on the wilds of the Big City (Chicago, in this case). Lily had her share of ups and downs, disappointments and joys, but she didn’t let anything get in the way of her will to find her Purpose (as her somewhat difficult father would put it) and live the life she wanted. Understanding Lily makes it a little easier to understand Rosemary, Jeannette Walls’ mother, and Lily’s daughter.
Copies of Half Broke Horses will be available for checkout at the library this week, so come on in and get your copy, and then join us for our usual rousing discussion on September 16.