The Invincible Miss Cust
September 10, 2022
Book Review

The Invincible Miss Cust

The Invincible Miss Cust reimagines the story of Aleen Cust, the first woman veterinary surgeon of Britain and Ireland.

Aleen is born in Ireland to an aristocratic English family. Growing up with brothers, she notices the experiences and opportunities that her brother have, but they are denied to her. From childhood, she loves horses, adventure, and competition. When she learns about such position as veterinary surgeon, it becomes her dream. But that is not to be, she is told. That would be a disgrace to family.

When her family returns to England, she gets embraced by family whose daughter shares the same passions as Aleen. The difference is her friend is allowed to go hunting and do the training as a nurse. Aleen’s eyes open to a different world where opportunities for women are possible.

The compromise is for Aleen to become a nurse, but she quickly discovers that nursing is not for her. She prefers countryside to stifling city hospital walls. And she resents the stiff relationship between doctors and nurses.

When she is about to give up her dream, an opportunity opens up.

In the first part of the story, we get to know Aleen and her family. What it takes for her to break through the walls of her family and to follow her dream. Once the dream is possible, she is against other walls. The man’s world, where she is not welcomed among her fellow students. Some accuse her of being a disgrace. Others ridicule her for being at the wrong place. But as it turns out, the biggest obstacles are still ahead of her.

The character of Aleen is interestingly explored. Her taking a professional position in man’s world isn’t an easy path. And there are other challenges. Coming from a privileged family, it most likely isn’t easy for her to transition to very simple lodgings with a privy in the backyard. The loneliness she feels, because her family ostracizes her. Accusing her of being selfish and causing them shame.

The story is vividly presented, with scenes of her childhood, school years, and professional life, while tending to animals and trying to save them. It is a story of a woman who breaks many conventions, not only with her professional life, but later also with her private life. It is a fascinating portrayal of one’s life who stands against challenges, but when the right people come along to give her a hand, she grabs the opportunity. Her family is against her, but there are some who support her and encourage her to fight for her dream.

With sophisticated prose and fascinating storytelling, the passion of one’s woman comes to life.

The Invincible Miss Cust available at:


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