Vet in a Spin

By James Herriot

Rating: 4 stars

Volume six of James Herriot’s fictionalised memoirs have him completing basic training in the RAF and going to learn how to actually fly a plane. He completes this but ends up being invalided out the service before he ever sees action – I guess the military want people to be fully healthy before they send them off to be killed!

But as with the last volume, we spend very little time in the RAF, with most of the book being taken up with Jim’s musings on his previous life in the Yorkshire Dales. We meet more of the wonderful farmers and villagers that make up his life and there are some touching stories about how their lives touch that of Jim.

We don’t see much of the supporting cast this time round, although we do get to see an unexpectedly tender side to Tristan, which leads into a beautifully bittersweet story. Jim’s business partner Siegfried barely turns up at all, and we don’t get any appearance from the always delightful Granville.

But as with the others, it’s a pleasure to read, and Jim always has empathy for his charges, whether that’s a farm animal or a beloved pet. His writing is soothing and the glimpse into another time is fascinating. Even for a confirmed urbanite like me, it’s a wonderful read.

Book details

ISBN: 9780330443579

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