An absolutely compelling story ! The story of a real woman's life. The author's grandmother, Lily Casey Smith. Jeannette Walls writes in the first person to capture the "voice of Lily", and fills in details when necessary. She considers it a novel....in the tradition of "oral history, a retelling of stories handed down by her family through the years, and undertaken with the storyteller's traditional liberties."
I have heard these kind of stories. Some very similar to those in this book. My grandparents and parents are this generation. Spunky, self-reliant and seemingly fearless. Undeterred by "acts of God", (floods, winds and storms of any sort), undaunted by hard work, (they expected to work), and unflinching in their resolve to make a better life for their children.
Lily's journey through her early years, breaking horses at age six, riding horseback five hundred miles, alone, to accept a teaching job, and later running a huge ranch in Arizona with her husband and two children, is a gripping tale !
Have your tea ready....it's hard to put this book down, even to make another cuppa !