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All God's Creatures

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  468 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
Say hello to Maggie McLain, an unlikely Southern debutante in 1960s Memphis. Gawky, restless, smart and opinionated, young Maggie isn't cut out to fill the patent leather pumps of a Southern belle. When she ditches a Cotton Carnival to save a drowning pup, Maggie realizes her destiny.

Is the land of mint juleps and Elvis ready for a woman veterinarian? Maybe not, but Dr. Ma

Published November 2nd 2010 by BelleBooks, Inc. (first published November 10th 2004)
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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
This isn't quite a 4-star book, but I'm rounding up. I found it strangely difficult to put it down. In fact, this was one of those cheap Kindle deals that I found in my collection of "Why am I keeping these?" books.

This is a fictional story of a woman vet's career in Tennessee, from her start battling the misogynists in vet schools in the mid-60s up to her well-settled and well-known practice in the 90s, when she has to start dealing with life after her husband's sudden death. I had to keep rem
Jan 18, 2013 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
Nov 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

Sep 06, 2012 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 16, 2011 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
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Sharon Michael
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sharon Tzur
Sep 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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?)
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 24, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Janet C.
Sep 20, 2012 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.
Laura Drake
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Bob Tackett
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Deanna Mosier
Dec 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jenn A. Maronn
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.
Kathi Olsen
Mar 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book as it was a story about a girl that decides to be a vet and all the stories that goes along with her life. Anyone that loves animals has to love this book. I thought about cousin Amy through the whole book.
Aug 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book full of the ups and downs of a female veterinarian, how she chose her career, getting through school in a field dominated by men, and her practice.
A tale of friendships, mishaps, life, death, and miracles.
An absolute joy to read.
Hollye Ferguson
Jun 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. If you like animals and books about Southern women than you will love this. My book club read it and for the first time we all agreed that we loved a book. It made me laugh and cry!
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It was written memoir-style but wasn't one. It was funny, touching and very well-written. The veterinary stories were interesting and the characters came to life. I highly recommend this one!
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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...

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