The Ride of Her Life: The True Story of a Woman, Her Horse, and Their Last-Chance Journey Across America

Elizabeth Letts. Ballantine, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-0-525-61932-1
Letts (The Perfect Horse) inspires in this miraculous true story of one woman’s trek from Maine to California on horseback. In November of 1954, after a health scare revealed she only had four years to live, 63-year-old Annie Wilkins bought a horse, grabbed her dog, and left her tiny hometown to ride west. Along the way, she went viral—at least by 1950s standards—thanks to an AP reporter who found out she was meeting the governor of Idaho. On her journey, Wilkins slept in police stations and the homes of kind strangers; charmed famed American artist Andrew Wyeth; was hosted by a small-town sheriff in Tennessee; acquired a second horse (but lost him to tetanus); rode in the country’s largest rodeo; and nearly drowned in a flash flood. She crossed California’s state line in the late afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 26, 1955, and, blowing past her doctor’s projections, lived to be 88. Letts’s attention to detail and clear admiration of her “funny, quirky, and bold” subject light up the narrative and make it hard to put down. This story has it all: bravery, determination, and a whole lot of heart. (June)
Reviewed on : 04/12/2021
Release date: 06/01/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-0-593-41406-4
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-525-61933-8
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