James Herriot is the pen name of James Alfred Wight, who spent his entire career as a veterinarian and veterinary surgeon in Yorkshire, England. He wrote many novels and stories for both children and adults, but my favorites as a child included All Things Wise and Wonderful, All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Wise and Wonderful, and The Lord God Made Them All.
Each of these novels is a compilation of stories of Herriot’s life and practice, and the odd and amazing individuals who were his clients.
I’ve read the four books mentioned above many times each, but had somehow never gotten around to Every Living Thing, which follows the same pattern of storytelling but was written much later in Herriot’s career.
The author is just as sprightly in this novel as in his earlier ones, and recounts stories that are funny and heartbreaking by turns. Reading it made me think fondly back on my childhood memories of his works, and in many ways brought closure to a series: knowing what became of Siegfried and Tristan and James himself.
Herriot’s stories were only partially autobiographical, but they’re told with a sense of warmth and humor that makes me wish I could have known the man. If you haven’t read any of Herriot’s works, including his books for children, you really should.
Anyone else read any Herriot? Let me know what you think in the comments!