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Falling From Horses – Molly Gloss

Title: Falling From Horses

Author: Molly Gloss

Genre: Historical Fiction

Plot: Bud Frazer is a ranch hand from Eastern Oregon. In 1938 he decides to leave his family’s ranch and head for Hollywood. He hopes to become a stunt rider for the movies. On his bus ride down, he meets and befriends Lily Shaw. Lily is a screen writer hoping to make it big in Hollywood. She is the outspoken, confident one. She helps Bud get set up with his first apartment in Hollywood. Through some of her friends, Bud finds his first job. It’s not much, but Bud works as a stable hand, cleaning stalls and taking care of the horses. The horses are well taken care of. Bud learns more of the world of Hollywood. He is amazed and awed by it at first. As he learns more of the movies, the less he enjoys. The owner of the ranch starts letting Bud work more of the horses and taking them to movies. Another company starts hiring work hands. The pay is better. They let more people ride. Bud is saddened when learns of trip wires. Trip wires are what they sound like. Horses run towards the wires and trip over them. After helping in a few movies, Bud finally gets to be a part of a bigger movie. During the big scene of the movie, they use trip wires. The scene goes to pieces. Bud finally sees the horror and carnage. He decides that the stunt rider life isn’t for him. But what of Lily? They’ve become good friends. Will he leave Lily in Hollywood? Will he be accepted back at home? Where will he go from there?

Rating: 3.0 – a good book about old Hollywood westerns

Opinion: This was a slow and steady read. I enjoyed learning about Hollywood movies. I knew a little about trip wires from another horse book, but I didn’t know how widely used they were. It was nice to know that not all of the Hollywood horse ranchers wanted their horses to be used so rough. It was also nice to know about the writing side of Hollywood. Lily worked hard to become a writer. It’s always been tougher for women to make it, much harder in the 30’s. This was a good story about growing up and learning about life. Sometimes your dreams aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. What we want in life doesn’t pan out the way we think it will. It’s a hard lesson, but a good one. This book was a good book about life, horses, and old Hollywood westerns. Molly Gloss is also a local author for me. It’s nice to support a local author. She’s a great author and knows her history and local places in Oregon. This is another great book for those who love histories and horses.

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