Confessions of a Veterinarian: (from the side of the road…)
For most of us, our story begins before we are born. It begins with our family. The first part of this memoir is written by the author’s parents, who fled Germany with their families just prior to WWII and settled in the Washington Heights area in New York City. Thomas’s mother humorously recalls a lifetime of poor health and compromised medical care. Her father reminisces about memories of Nazi instructors and early lessons on prejudice, when as a child, he learned that native German Jews felt they were superior to eastern Jews. He also shares his struggles, as an immigrant tradesman, in a rapidly changing furniture business as an expert finisher. Thomas’ parents were proud of both of their daughters’ and their accomplishments’.
In the rest of the book, Thomas shares her own journey from lost disillusioned college graduate to single-mom veterinarian. Meet another aspect of Thomas—Daisy, Thomas’s own frustrated alter ego, who always says what she thinks; her dogs Scout and Annie; and various other friends and family through the journal entries and letters that comprise the book.
After college, Thomas gave up her vices and begins to explore life in a more enlightened way. As a Jew, she accepted the idea of Jesus Christ and did so without compromising her heritage. She made peace with the God she has known and the one she is coming to know. “The world has never made a lick of sense to me,” according to Thomas, which is why she turned to faith. “Somebody had to make even a little sense out of all this.”
Before starting veterinary school, Thomas booked an African vacation that involved cancellations, delays, and lost luggage. A New York to Frankfurt to Nairobi flight became a New York to London to Frankfurt to Paris to Orly—by bus and finally a Nairobi flight. Finally, arriving in Kenya, Thomas bought a few things, still hoping her luggage would materialize. She finds herself on safari wearing the same pair of jeans for a week, stays in a hotel where she is unable to lock the door, and never sees her underwear again.
And what could be more frustrating for a 31-year-old-Jewish-woman, from New York than to attend veterinary school in the deep south? Branded a Yankee by Mississippians, destined to be an outcast, Thomas enjoys her own rant about prejudice and so-called southern hospitality.
Graduation from veterinary medical school was only one milestone in Thomas’s life. Her real adventure began when, after graduation, Thomas decided she wanted a family. Thomas followed where faith took her and she couldn’t be happier, even if it was to an orphanage in China.
Due to the spontaneous nature of Thomas’s musings, the journal entries are sporadic and contain very little foundation; making the reading somewhat challenging. However, this same rawness of style probably elicits an accurate, unpolished characterization of Thomas’s experience. The portion of the book written by her mother is undoubtedly an honest portrayal of self-examination and an exemplary personality profile.
After editing at City Book Review for a few years, I took up the duties of editorial assistant, which include assigning books for review, posting reviews to our various sites, and nagging reviewers for things. In my non-nagging time, I’m a gamer, artist, writer, and notorious black thumb/bane of plants. My answer to every book-related question: read Octavia Butler.
|Page Count||176 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Biographies & Memoirs|