“Jones has a keen journalist's eye... she describes without judgment the dysfunction she encounters and the self-destructiveness of some of the reservation's young men. Jones writes beautifully about the natural world, knows how to bring the people she encounters alive on the page and tells a gutsy, moving story about a significant passage in her own life.”
— The Washington Post
Jones, the self-deprecating journalist (“Why couldn’t I shut up? Why did I get so nervous and yappy?”), locates herself beautifully in a story that is hers and not hers. This is her first book. We look forward to the next.
— The Los Angeles Times
“(Jones’) vulnerability makes us want to listen and learn from her, and allows us to trust Stanford Addison in the same way she must trust him... There is a pathway to self-discovery and change in Broken that is more truthful and real than that found in any self-help book.”
— The Bloomsbury Review
With an eye for detail, Jones brings each character to life; she describes Addison as “[t]his paralyzed, six-toothed, one-lunged Plains Indian [who] would take a drag of his KOOL Filter King, sigh, and say something like 'I guess the thing I miss most since the accident is ski jumping.’ ” At the book’s core are the themes of healing, redefining family and home, and “finding your center.” In the end, Jones reveals the beauty, ruin—and spirituality—of life on the “rez.”
— Publisher’s Weekly
Run, don't walk, to the nearest bookstore and buy a copy of Lisa Jones book Broken; A Love Story, about Stanford Addison...(who) teaches people how to break horses; he teaches everyone how to surrender humbly, lose themselves and find their center. He does it through sacrifice, suffering, humor and love, in the midst of poverty and illness and swarms of kids, dogs, horses, relatives and refugees.
This all sounds very woo-woo and New Age. It isn't. Trust me, it isn’t....The Indian community as depicted in this book is awash in contradictions; sacred and broken, poor and wealthy, sick and healthy. The people drink diet Cherry Cokes and shop at Wal-Mart; ingest peyote and attend sweat lodges; get arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct and offer cigarettes to a stature of the Virgin Mary the Virgin Mary during hospital stays.
It is not, repeat not, another romanticized white person's spiritual quest on Native lands. Instead it is a lovingly wrought, painfully honest, crowded, poignant, and funny look at all of it.
Lisa manages to pack in history, politics, spirituality, healing, and personal stories so seamlessly and compactly that you are not even aware of what a huge mouthful you are digesting until after you have swallowed it and are lying around in the sun like a snake that has just swallowed a jackrabbit. The book is the snake and your ego is--was-- the rabbit. Taking it in is like ingesting peyote for those of us who are less adventurous with hallucinogens. Read it and weep, shake, laugh, and let your heart creak open.
—poet, playwright and essayist Alison Luterman, in her blog
The title is a play on words -- it refers to horse breaking, hearts breaking, bodies breaking. She has subtitled it “a love story,” and so it is -- in the way that, say, the New Testament is a love story... suffice it to say that Lisa Jones, of inarguably WASP-ish descent, has refracted through the lens of her own particular experience the story of Stanford Addison, a Northern Arapaho horse gentler and medicine man: a man whose reputation for accomplishing miracles of healing and horse training are rendered even more remarkable by the fact that he has been bound to a wheelchair for thirty years... how do you write about someone who communicates with spirits if ‘spirits’ are not part of your world view? How do you objectively take notes on a healer who tells you he knows what cancers taste like? There were times, Lisa said, “when I actually feared for my sanity. My basic believes were being rattled, or in some cases, proven wrong.”
To Lisa’s credit, she opens herself up not only to being laughed at, but to other discomforts as well -- sweat lodges, close encounters with ghosts, her own fear of horses, romantic confusion...”I was coveting the unknown,” she says of her time spent among the Arapaho. “I was intimidated, but at the same time, I knew it what I wanted.”
— Colorado Central Magazine
“Many writers feel that they've done heroic duty in the course of researching and writing their books. But in Broken, Lisa Jones has gone the extra five hundred miles, and then some. This is a beautifully written, heart wrenching journey into the depths of the soul. A tale of mystery, courage, and love between men, women and horses.”
—Jim Fergus, author of One Thousand White Women and The Wild Girl
"Intrepid only begins to describe Lisa Jones, who goes to admirable and adventuresome lengths to take the measure of a singular American spirit. Her engagements with (and devotion to) Stanford Addison also lead to her candid measure of herself--a risk that pays off for those willing to jump into Jones' old Toyota as she looks for wisdom in a neglected corner of the West.”
—Ted Conover, author of The Routes of Man, Newjack, and Coyotes
“A great endeavor; a beautiful and powerful tale. I would treat myself to BROKEN, relishing the language, and like a woman with the best dark chocolate red chile fudge, I would savor its pages...I loved this book.”
— Winona LaDuke, Anishinaabe activist and author of All our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life and Recovering the Sacred: the Power of Naming and Claiming
“Lao Tzu, the first century Chinese philosopher said, When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. So it was for journalist Lisa Jones, when she met the extraordinary Stanford Addison and quite literally, nothing was ever the same again. With equal parts humor and eloquence, Lisa recounts her slow immersion into Arapahoe culture and the effects it and Stanford Addison had on her life. This is a heartfelt journey into the fears and yearnings of a woman and the unexpected gifts she receives from an indigenous culture, profoundly marginalized. A beauty of a tale set in the hard glare of a windswept Wyoming plain.”
— Susan Richards, author of Chosen by a Horse and Chosen Forever
"An incredible and soul-moving account of a Northern Arapaho’s own healing journey, and his impact on others. Nowhere will you find such an inspirational and uplifting book that reveals the power of the unlimited healing force that is present, and the startling results it will produce when used to serve and help others.”
— Angeles Arrien, cultural anthropologist and author of The Four-Fold Way
“It is the rare non-Native writer who can gain access to the hearts of Native people to share their stories; rarer still is the non-Native writer who tells those stories with both a clear eye and a compassionate heart. In Broken: A Love Story, Lisa Jones has not only succeeded on both counts, she has offered us a story of a man, a people, and the bond between human and animal that will touch the heart of any reader...What a fine book.”
--Kent Nerburn, author of Neither Wolf nor Dog and The Wolf at Twilight
"BROKEN is about life loving us all equally and connecting us to spiritual responsibility. If you don’t read BROKEN, you are missing out!"
— Tiokasin Ghosthorse – Host of First Voices Indigenous Radio, WBAI NY.
"BROKEN makes me proud to be who I am, a Northern Arapaho from the Wind River Reservation."
— Sterling Charles Blindman, Northern Arapaho, 10th Grade, Wyoming Indian High School