Monday, April 08, 2024

The Wartime Vet by Ellie Curzon, published by Bookouture

England, 1941. Dedicated local vet Laura cares for the farm animals of the little village of Bramble Heath. But falling bombs aren’t the only danger as the war hits close to home…

Despite everyone telling her it’s not a suitable career for a woman, 
Laura has worked hard to become a successful livestock vet. And she’s not afraid to serve her country in the village of Bramble Heath, where she and the land girls care for animals and protect the crops everyone relies on during the darkest days of the war. But, just when the country is most in need of food, the farms of the village come under attack…

Desperate to figure out who among the villagers could be doing such terrible things even while German bombs rain down, Laura is relieved when the Ministry respond to her requests for help. But the man they send isn’t what she expects. 
Commander Alastair Seaton is quiet, with a soft, kind smile. And she can’t help but be drawn to his shining brown eyes.

But as they start to open up to each other about past heartbreak, disaster strikes. A farm has been set alight. While Laura hurriedly gathers water to fight the flames, Alistair rushes into the burning barn to make sure no one is trapped inside. 
Will Alistair make it out alive? And can Laura figure out who is behind these attacks before they threaten the outcome of the war?

This story gives a fascinating perspective of life in England during the Second World War from the viewpoint of a working female vet. Women had only just started to be accepted into veterinary college in the decade before the War started, and it was a time when women would be expected to leave employment when they married.  However, wartime created a male labour shortage with military recruitment and conscription, and so employment opportunities for women became more numerous and, indeed, women were also expected to do their bit for the war effort.  This included farming and food production - keeping the nation's population fed and well-nourished so that they too could play their part.  Keeping livestock healthy was obviously an important contribution to this, so we meet Laura coming to work in a veterinary practice in the south of England, in a rural village where her Senior Partner is short-handed as his son has been called to act as a vet in the military.  She has to cope with his prejudice against a female in this role, as well as getting to know a whole new community.  She becomes concerned that some animals are being poisoned, although her boss dismisses this as the land-girls mixing the feed wrongly.  Despite his belief, she feels duty-bound to report her concerns to the Ministry of Agriculture, and this starts a chain of events which puts everyone in danger.  Just who can be trusted?  And how can the community be kept safe?

I really enjoyed this book, which seemed accurate for the period, and would certainly watch out for further books in the village at war series.

Buy link:

About the author

Ellie Curzon is the pen name of Catherine Curzon and Helen Barrell. Catherine and Helen began writing together in the spring of 2017 and swiftly discovered a shared love of the past and a uniquely British sort of story. They drink gallons of tea, spend hours discussing the importance of good tailoring and are never at a loss for a bit of derring-do.




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