The Invincible Miss Cust

Product Details
$16.99  $15.80
Sourcebooks Landmark
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.1 X 0.9 inches | 0.65 pounds

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About the Author

Penny Haw worked as a journalist and columnist for more than three decades, writing for many leading South African newspapers and magazines before yielding to a lifelong yearning to create fiction. Her stories feature remarkable women, illustrate her love for nature, and explore the interconnectedness of all living things. The Invincible Miss Cust is Penny's debut historical fiction. She lives near Cape Town with her husband and three dogs, all of whom are well-walked.


SheReads Best Historical Fiction of 2022 Finalist!

"Haw's debut historical novel is carefully researched, with well-rounded characters. Told through Aleen's perspective, it captures the courage and the doubt she had to juggle through much of her life. Her story will any reader who loves animals and the people who care for them." -- Booklist

"A skillfully told story of an extraordinary woman's grit, determination, and devotion to her dream of becoming Great Britain's first female veterinary surgeon. Haw brings Aleen Cust to vivid life, from her aristocratic but stifled childhood to her difficult days at school, to her eventual acceptance as a highly skilled vet--all the while fighting a patriarchal system designed to thwart her every step. 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 The Invincible Miss Cust. The book is an important reminder of how hard women have had to fight for the right to work and study. From Ireland to France, I enjoyed every moment of Aleen Cust's unpredictable journey. What a remarkable woman--and what an enthralling story!" -- Janet Skeslien Charles, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Library

"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. Readers are sure to adore and admire Aleen Cust for her compassion for animals as well as her courage as they follow the unpredictable twists and turns of her enthralling story." -- Jennifer Chiaverini, New York Times bestselling author of Switchboard Soldiers

"A vivid, compelling story of a daring and determined woman. Emotionally rich and bringing light to an incredible life and legacy, you won't want to miss this inspiring novel of England's first female veterinary surgeon." -- Audrey Blake, USA Today bestselling author of The Girl in His Shadow

"A gripping story of one woman's unrelenting quest to treat and care for our four-legged friends. Readers will be rooting for Aleen as she comes up against and triumphs over a mountain of obstacles. A must-read for all animal lovers." -- Renée Rosen, USA Today bestselling author of The Social Graces

"Penny Haw takes us deep into the heart and choices of Aleen Cust, who defied convention to become Britain's first woman veterinary surgeon. A vivid, beautifully written, and compelling novel." -- Louisa Treger, author of Madwoman and The Dragon Lady

"An amazing story! The Invincible Miss Cust introduces readers to Aleen Cust, Britain and Ireland's first female veterinary surgeon, and we are better for the acquaintance. 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

"Haw's crisp prose, engaging narrative, and thoughtful storytelling (not to mention her clear love of animals, ) seamlessly blends fact and fiction to immerse the reader in the innermost world of the fiercely independent and indomitable Aleen Cust. This work of historical fiction is a powerful portrait of an inspiring woman whose stubborn determination and passion for her calling drove her to defy her family's wishes, stand up to the sexist norms of society, and take the reins of her own life no matter the cost. Bravo!" -- Samantha Greene Woodruff, author of The Lobotomist's Wife

"The Invincible Miss Cust is the gripping true story of a young woman who dreams of becoming a veterinary surgeon. Aleen Cust is a determined free spirit whose love for animals surpasses the challenges and hardships faced by a woman pursuing a profession in the 1890's, a time when women were rarely allowed to dream of an education or a career. Readers of James Herriot will find this a delightful, inspiring read" -- Julia Bryan Thomas, author of For Those Who Are Lost

"I loved this gripping and inspirational book! Aleen Cust's...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