SheReads Best Historical Fiction of 2022 Finalist!
"Inspiring, heartwarming, and ultimately triumphant.” —Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Lost Friends
“What a remarkable woman—and what an enthralling story!” —Janet Skeslien Charles, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Library
Must-read historical fiction for fans of Marie Benedict and Tracey Enerson Wood, based on the real life of Britain's first woman veterinary surgeon.
Aleen Cust has big dreams. And no one—not her family, society, or the law—will stop her.
Born in Ireland in 1868 to an aristocratic English family, Aleen knows she is destined to work with animals, even if her family is appalled by the idea of a woman pursuing a veterinary career. Going against their wishes but with the encouragement of the guardian assigned to her upon her father's death, Aleen attends the New Veterinary College in Edinburgh, enrolling as A. I. Custance to spare her family the humiliation they fear. At last, she is on her way to becoming a veterinary surgeon! Little does she know her biggest obstacles lie ahead.
The Invincible Miss Cust is based on the real life of Aleen Isabel Cust, who defied her family and society to become Britain and Ireland's first woman veterinary surgeon. Through Penny Haw's meticulous research, riveting storytelling, and elegant prose, Aleen's story of ambition, determination, family, friendship, and passion comes to life. It is a story that, even today, women will recognize, of battling patriarchy and an unequal society to realize one's dreams and pave the way for other women in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
More Praise for The Invincible Miss Cust:
“The Invincible Miss Cust is an absolute delight, an exceptional, immersive work of historical fiction set amid the beautifully detailed landscapes of Ireland and England.” —Jennifer Chiaverini, New York Times bestselling author of Switchboard Soldiers
"A skillfully told story of an extraordinary woman's grit, determination, and devotion to her dream. Detailed and evocative, The Invincible Miss Cust is an engrossing read." —Shana Abé, New York Times bestselling author of The Second Mrs. Astor
"I loved this gripping and inspirational book! Her courage and independence of spirit shine through on every beautifully-written page as she faces life’s triumphs and tragedies." —Fiona Valpy, bestselling author of The Dressmaker’s Gift
"An amazing story! Haw’s descriptive prose and deft characterizations lead us through Cust’s remarkable life, setbacks and triumphs, and leaves us in awe of her perseverance, determination, and loyalty." —Katherine Reay, bestselling author of The London House and The Printed Letter Bookshop