– Anna Birch
When fresh-faced, newly qualified vet Anna arrives in the seemingly sleepy Dorset village of Ebbourne, little does she know that this tiny rural community is about to change her life. Straight in at the deep end, Anna faces two tricky calvings, an emergency call-out to a frightened mare, lots of mad cats (and mad cat women) and one enormous dog with an injured leg and a threatening bark. Spirited and determined, Anna quickly finds her feet and falls in love with rural life, including Ebbourne’s eccentric characters and their animals. Disasters, dramas, farmers and friendship – and not to mention a whirlwind romance with a local Wildlife Trust worker – this warm and witty memoir offers a window into what working with animals and country life is really all about.
Whilst I’ve read plenty of books in this style, I have never read one from a vet’s point of view and that’s what drew me in. We follow Anna in her first year of employment, and come to learn a lot about her and what being a vet in a small village is like!
I thought Anna had a great voice in the book and I really enjoyed seeing everything through her eyes. Although it was written as a memoir of that first year, it reads more like a novel and that’s definitely a plus! This way, it flows better and you feel like you can fully immerse yourself in her world. As I said above, I’ve read books in a similar style but I’ve only actually read one other that read like a novel. The rest were more anecdotal with short chapters on specific experiences.
I thought it was also interesting just how much information was put into the book – I feel like I know a bit more about veterinary practice, even though I know my knowledge is still limited! It was fun to see all the different kinds of cases that vets have to deal with, including the range of owners!
If you’re interested in animals, being a vet or just this memoir type of book, definitely give it a go! I really enjoyed it and I think I’ll have to hunt for more now!
My Rating – To see my book review rating guide click here.
*Thanks to NetGalley for sending me this book to review.