This was the first English book that Dad had ever told me about from the days before I was born. I mean, he did mention that he liked to read, and I grew up in a motley library of random books. But he never told me about any favorite authors. More surprisingly, Mom was allegedly the one who introduced the author to Dad, when she was studying in the UK. This was perhaps the first and only instance that mom's reading activity was supported by evidence, albeit anecdotal.
James Herriot was the pen name of James Alfred Wight, creator of the popular franchise "All Creatures Great and Small". As a vet in Yorkshire, he wrote extensively about the cats and dogs crossing his path every day, usually accompanied by their masters and mistresses. The stories may seem a bit naive and unstimulating by today's standard, but they are jovial and, indeed, true to the character of the people chronicled by Herriot - honest, hardworking, and always affectionate. Dog lovers would be able to identify with the array of emotions experienced by the caring vet and the worried owners. People who don't love dogs... well I don't know how you'd feel, but I hope this would give you a glimpse of why we love them so much.
Most heartening of all, of course, is how this author filled in a great void in my imagination. The knowledge that my parents bonded over such warm and fuzzy books, as opposed to some dark or perverse hobbies, is immensely comforting. :)...Continua