“I was drawn to the book for a couple of reasons,” Tucker explained. “First, I was intrigued by the subtitle of the book, A True-Life Novel. When I read the first couple of pages and the notes on the back of the dust cover, I discovered that the author had written the book in her grandmother’s voice, as if her grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, were telling stories from her life in first person.”
“Who has not sat around at family gatherings or in their grandparents’ laps and listened to old family stories?” Tucker continued. “The stories of Lily Casey Smith, though, are something else. Jeannette Walls describes her grandmother as an ‘amazing character and a tough old broad’ and her life story as a ‘quintessential American story.’”
“Born in a dugout in 1901, Lily grew up breaking horses for her dad in West Texas, became a schoolteacher and got fired several times, got married and divorced in Chicago, ran a vast ranch in Arizona with her husband, had 2 kids, learned to fly a plane, ran a “taxi” service, sold bootleg whiskey, and experienced more than her share of personal tragedy. It was a great book!” Tucker concluded.
“Mike has been our August reviewer for several years now,” explained Jennie Buchanan, program chair for the group. “He always selects a good book and presents a great review. Having just finished reading Half Broke Horses, I can predict with confidence that this will be a review we will all enjoy!”
Tucker is an English instructor at Western Oklahoma State College.
The Coffee Cup Bunch of the Friends of the Library meets on the first Wednesday of each month. The meetings are free and open to the public.