The First Vet

Written by Linda Chamberlain
Review by Jo Barton

Taking its inspiration from the first veterinary college and its students, The First Vet opens in London in 1794, and focuses on the true story of Bracy Clark, an inspirational young vet who is passionate about his training, and more than a little concerned about the management of the college by the esteemed surgeon in charge. When Bracy sets out to confront Professor Edward Coleman about his management skills, he is unprepared for the effect that this meeting will have on his life and future happiness.

What then follows is an interesting and well-developed story which considers all the challenges of learning a new and vital skill in a time when veterinary practice, and horse husbandry in particular, was largely undervalued and viewed with more than a hint of suspicion. This is obviously a subject the author feels passionately about and therefore writes with great conviction and enthusiasm. The story flows well and there is a nice combination of the factual details which, when combined with a dash of illicit romance, adds an interesting dimension and helps to carry the story along.

Professionally produced to a high standard, with evocative cover art, the story sits very comfortably within the historical fiction genre and I have no hesitation in recommending this as an interesting and informative historical read. There is just one thing worth mentioning, in that, my copy was incorrectly formatted, but I am reassured that this has now been rectified in future editions of the novel.