Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “All God's Creatures” as Want to Read:
All God's Creatures
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

All God's Creatures

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  420 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
In 1960, Memphis debutante Margaret McLain defies conservative Southern society by entering veterinary school. Soon young Dr. Maggie McLain finds herself battling for respect among the farmers, pet owners, and livestock breeders of western Tennessee, while also juggling marriage, kids, and a bevy of loving but rambunctious friends -- both two-footed and four-footed. As the ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published November 10th 2004 by BelleBooks
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about All God's Creatures, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about All God's Creatures

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 803)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Naimisha Pasupuleti
Let me say something upfront: I am a sucker for a good fem-lib story where women achieve something against many odds and everything remains right with the world. There, now that we have got that out of the way, let us get down to brass tacks.

At first, I thought the book was a memoir (maybe because of the James Herriotesque name) but as it turns out, it is a fictional account. When the book began with a change of name, I thought ‘ah, so that is how she became Carolyn from Margaret’ but no, that w
Feb 25, 2015 Jaide rated it it was amazing
All God's Creatures by Carolyn McSparren was an extremely enjoyable reading experience for me. It is a novel about a young southern woman's decision and journey to become a veterinarian in the early 1960s, to the horror of just about everyone. The novel reads like an autobiography about the vet's experiences in her professional and personal life, from before she makes her decision to study veterinary medicine until she is ready to retire. However, the book is so much more than just the adventure ...more
Mar 29, 2013 Denise rated it really liked it
This novel reads so much like the memoir of a real person; I had a hard time remembering that Dr. Maggie McLain is not a real, feisty female large animal veterinarian! The author’s end notes explain that she is a deeply committed ‘horse lover’ and essentially compiled multiple stories of various vets she knows to create this book. I really learned a lot and enjoyed it immensely! I am far from a animal lover but I know so many people who are so devoted to their pets that not only are the caring v ...more
Oct 08, 2012 Deejay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Deejay by: found it on my own
This book was a new area for me....animals (2 legs and 4 legs - mostly the 4 legs). I enjoyed Maggie McLain's story. The backgound setting of the story really interested me because it is factually based and I learned more about large animals (horses, cows, pigs, wolves)than I've ever been exposed too. Becoming a female vet was a real challenge in the years (I believe the 60s) that Maggie decided to pursue her chosen career. Veterinarians was a male dominated career, like many other careers that ...more
Nov 23, 2011 Pamelabyoung rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the writing in the first chapter of this book and then I kind of took awhile to get into the flow of the book. I left it for awhile and came back and fell into sync right away. Reminiscent of James Herriot in many ways, this story is told in first person by a rural Tennessee veterinarian named Maggie, who blazes into the field in the sixties, when seeing a female who works with large animals is not the norm. Fifty-two chapters long that felt somewhat episodic until they started to come b ...more
Steve Wales
I really enjoyed this book, following the life of Maggie McLain, a Southern Belle in the sixties who leaves that life to become a vet at a time when the South was not really ready for women vets, which only makes a hard job even harder.

There is no real over-arching plot to this novel, rather it is a series of anecdotes spread across a lifetime, but it is brought together by the wonderful characters involved in them. The family, friends, colleagues, clients and Dr McLain herself are all well-draw
Nov 06, 2012 Annette rated it it was amazing
For me the first thing I considered is a comparison to All Creatures Great and Small and the other books by James Herriot. Like those books, the stories trace a vet through the joys and sorrows connected to the profession. And like those books, we get to know the vet and family and friends. In this case, Maggie is the vet who becomes one of the few women veterinarians in Tennessee in the 1960's. We get to know Maggie, her vet partner and the man who marries her, loves her and treasures her.

Jan 22, 2013 Lexie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First, this was off my usual genre, I mostly read YA Paranormal, but I do love reading about animals, German Shepherds mostly, once in awhile. I'm not real sure how I came across a sample for this book, but it caught my interest from there, and I am so glad it did. For a book to catch my feelings, make me laugh outloud, feel anger toward a character or bring tears to my eyes, it's a damn good book! Caroly McSparren's writing did all that to me, and then some. I felt so connected to the main cha ...more
Aug 09, 2015 Anne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Animal lovers
I was close to finished with this book when I realized that it was not a true story but fiction. However it was so well written, funny and sad, laugh out loud at times, that I still found it a terrific book. Maggie becomes a vet back when few women were in the profession and she and her best friend open a clinic in rural Tennessee. Full of family, loving, animals large and small, this was really a wonderful book.
McSparren tells the life story of a female vet in Tennessee from the 1960's (when there weren't very many female vets) through present day. One usually reads this kind of book for the animal stories, which are here, but often told brusquely with abrupt chapter endings. Our heroine's life is often filled with manipulative tragedies. There are moments when the book shines quite brightly, a few of the tales are told warmly with full-bodied characters and well developed style, and some are not. One ...more
Yvonne Dixon
Jan 23, 2010 Yvonne Dixon rated it liked it
I had great expectations for this book due to all the high ratings that it received. I found that I was very interested in it at the beginning. It had some good humor throughout. I felt connected to the main character, a woman in the 60's that was raised as a southern bell, choosing to become a vet in a male dominated era. She has no prior experience with animals and she gets in some pretty good pickles.

However, as I kept reading, I found myself getting bored. The really truly important things t
Paulette  Aldrich


I liked the characters and the stories. Anyone who loves animals will enjoy this book. Maggie has a lot in common with most of us mothers.
Mary E. Gillette
Storyline ok

The writing style was a bit sophomoric. The story itself was good, it just could have been written better. Overall, okay for a , light thoughtless read.
Sharon Michael
Apr 27, 2012 Sharon Michael rated it liked it
I didn't realize at first this was not an actual memoir, but I did find it very readable and enjoyable. I'm an animal person, grew up on a ranch with livestock and pets and do enjoy this kind of a read.

My criteria for this specific type of book is, of course, the Herriot books, which are certainly difficult to compete with. I found this book very accurate and knowledgeable about the veterinary work. The specific stories were particularly entertaining for me and I would have liked more of them.

Jan 17, 2010 Nancy rated it really liked it
This book really grew on me and by the end I loved all of the characters for their strengths, weakness, mistakes and all. The main character reminds me of my childhood neighbor who would always drop in and be a friend to my Mom.

I loved the themes of the ruggedness of women veterinarians in the South, animal medical problems (probably because I am a nurse), true friendship and what is real family, how do we relate to them over the course of our lives and how do we deal with loss. This was like re
Sep 06, 2014 Mrs rated it really liked it
I had to keep reminding myself while reading that this was a book of fiction, and that seldom happens. The characters were interestingly and beautifully crafted, the veterinary medicine was fascinating, and I found it easy to get lost in the anecdotes and adventures of this book.
Sep 28, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
I'm happy to see from other reviews that I'm not the only one who thought at first this was an actual memoir. Guess I didn't read the fine print on Amazon before I downloaded it.

Yes, it is "Herriot-esque", and the animal stories are good if you are a Herriot fan (which I am). The personal stories are less successful. The main character's best friend and fellow vet is a cardboard cutout, for instance, and when the story started being more about Maggie and less about her vet practice, I lost inter
Sep 25, 2013 Megan rated it really liked it
Being a female equine vet and an avid reader, I had to read this book. I could relate to this book in so many ways and found myself laughing and crying and read it very quickly. In that way it was an entertaining read. I thought there should have been more character development in her children and her husband who were major characters, the stories and story lines were a little disjointed at times and the treatment protocols weren't always spot on, but overall I enjoyed this book very much.
Sharon Tzur
Sep 20, 2012 Sharon Tzur rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading this fictional work that is presented as an autobiography of a woman who becomes a vet. I mostly liked the stories she recounts about treating animals, especially horses, cows, and even a bull. Some parts had me laughing out loud. I found some of the parts about her personal life a bit too dragged out- and I hate when I have a protagonist who does things that really irk me, but that flaw didn't keep me from enjoying the book as a whole.
Sep 24, 2011 Alaine rated it liked it
This was a free book on Amazon Kindle and I enjoyed reading it. A christian novel which is a cute story of a young woman's life in the mountains of Kentucky. She learns to love. It also tells the story of her daughter Copper's life growing up in the back country or mountains. Where she does find love! It is fascinating what life may have been like for youth and women, before our modern day conveniences.
Jul 09, 2012 Mich rated it really liked it
In which Mich gives her opinion!
Oh my. I REALLY liked this! Female version of James Herriot. Two whines- "in which" made me feel VERY witchy by the end and seriously? The woman did EVERYTHING and was pretty much perfect in every way! Maybe instead of Maggie she should have been named Mary(poppins). Great kindle freebie and yeah easy read, entertaining and great for horse lovers! ( feeling witchy yet?)
Sep 19, 2011 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All God's Creatures is a great book to sit, read, and feel comfortable in your own skin. The story of a veterinarian, her home life, her practice, and the friends she meets along the way. The animals seem so real and you can't help but love them. You will laugh, cry, and want more. Don't forget the tissues! This book isn't just for animals lovers. I highly recommend.
Lydia Aswolf
Sep 18, 2012 Lydia Aswolf rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic book. The voice of the main character is outstanding, and you genuinely like her and want the story to unfold to her best benefit. Humorous, insightful, frank, and honest, a delightful read. One thing, however...I bought this because it was compared to James Herriot, and while I can't say that, I can say it's worth a read and perhaps even a re-read!
Laura Drake
Sep 30, 2012 Laura Drake rated it it was amazing
LOVED this book! I enjoyed all the James Harriott novels, but honestly, this one was better.

The protag. is a woman, and a Southerner. McSparren had me laughing and crying all through the book - sometimes both at the same time.

The characters are so real I feel like I could drive down to see them.

A wonderful Women's Fiction novel. I highly recommend it.
Ashley Lane
Feb 17, 2015 Ashley Lane rated it it was ok
Cute, but kind of boring.
Janet C.
Sep 21, 2012 Janet C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anybody
Recommended to Janet C. by: n/a
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bob Tackett
Oct 10, 2012 Bob Tackett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Enjoyed every page of this delightful book. If one could transplant James Herriott to America as a female Veterinarian you might have the author of this book. All those who love animals, and even those who don't, will surely enjoy this book! I recommend it to all and sundry who like a light, humorous read.
Deanna Mosier
Dec 11, 2010 Deanna Mosier rated it it was amazing
Put yourself in the shoes of a couple of female veterinarians -who deal mostly with the large animals. Add humor and lots of stories. This was an excellent read. I felt like I was right there with them helping the animals. Thought this was an autobiography at first...Wonderful fun book.
Kathi Olsen
Mar 03, 2010 Kathi Olsen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
I loved it, loved it. A good story where the characters are fictional, but the events of a country vet taking care of a variety of situations are based on truth. Technically, that makes it fiction, but I'm putting it on my non-fiction shelf. It's a realloy good book.
Feb 03, 2013 Jill rated it really liked it
I like this book, especially with its short, manageable chapters. I'm not sure there was a strong story line or that the theme of the difficulty of becoming a vet in the 1970s was strongly followed throughout the book, but it was interesting, engaging, and I'm glad I read it.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 26 27 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Mossy Creek (Mossy Creek, #1)
  • Raising Jake
  • The Marquis (Gypsy Legacy, #1)
  • Spirit Horses
  • The Christmas Lamp
  • The Dog Walker
  • Leave It to Chance
  • One Night in Boston (One Night, #1)
  • The Equivoque Principle (Cornelius Quaint Chronicles, #1)
  • A Place of Forgetting
  • Calling Home
  • The Sandler Inquiry
  • Primitive
  • The Secret of the Stones (Sean Wyatt #1; Lost Chambers Trilogy #1)
  • Bird Brained (Rachel Porter, #3)
  • The Lost Prophet (Ramsey #2)
  • Nephilim Genesis of Evil
  • I'm Listening With a Broken Ear
Carolyn McSparren started writing when she was a teenager, and always planned to be a professional writer and a college professor. That is, until she fell madly in love, dropped out of graduate school, and became a wife supporting a burgeoning opera singer husband. That led to a three-month trip to Germany that stretched into five years.

She wound up living in Germany, France, Italy, and came home
More about Carolyn McSparren...

Share This Book

“The line between stupid teenaged behavior that causes an end to teenaged lives and stupid teenaged behavior that turns into a prank is very thin. Kids” 0 likes
More quotes…