Book Review: Drinking from the Trough by Mary Carlson

Title: Drinking from the Trough
Author: Mary Carlson
Release: August 28th 2018

Description: Mary Carlson didn’t start out to become a veterinarian, let alone the owner and caretaker of cats (many), dogs (two, both huskies), and horses (some with manners, some without) in Colorado. She was a suburban Chicago girl; all she knew of the American West came from the stories her uncle, who had settled in northern Colorado, told her during his annual visits. But thanks to him, she ended up moving to Fort Collins, Colorado for college—and after falling in love with a man she’d become friends with in her final year of college, when he was a student at the CSU School of Veterinary Medicine, she remained there.

Watching the work Earl did as a veterinarian inspired Mary to eventually leave her tenured teaching position and enter vet school, after which she opened her own, feline-exclusive clinic. Along the way, there were numerous pets, grueling years of vet school, a shattered hip, an enduring love, illness, and death—and the rediscovery that life, especially a life full of delightful animals, is worth living.

Review: 3 out of 5 Stars

Mary Carlson’s memoir from life as a vet was entertaining and interesting enough, with stories about her horses, dogs and cats who were all part of her family.

However, there was a little something missing from this book for me. It might have been the back and forth time-line, which made it feel somewhat disjointed. Early on we learn of her husbands death and the story of how her dog Keli died, but then the book back tracks to stories when they are alive. This isn’t necessarily bad, but isn’t a particular style of storytelling that I liked.

The book is also billed as a vet’s memoir, which, while there are plenty of animal stories that are a great read, there is also a lot about her personal life and family. Since these personal stories are included, I feel like a little more detail may have helped the reader engage more. Some insights felt untold, and I wanted more of the picture explained to me.

Overall a nice read and one I’m sure animal lovers will enjoy.

I received an advance copy from NetGalley for an honest review

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