Mildly amusing anecdotes and plotless prose in the continuing story of Rachel (The Work Of Her Hands, 1983), another country vet in another quaint English farming community, whose colorless, droll, and placid personality makes for light, so-so reading. Smug and tediously content with new husband, rural vet Tom Adams, Rachael sets about Milchester's muddy yards and pig kennels tending waning colts, mite-infested sheep, and disobedient doggies. Tweedy neighbors and endless cups of tea abound, but faithful Knowles followers will recognize a few familiar favorites, like Miss Pringle (now Mrs. Froshbisher), who found love in the vet's waiting room (last novel), and spunky housekeeper Mrs. Partridge, whose teary-eyed niece Molly almost loses precious pony, Polo--along with newcomers like sexy health-inspector Jan Kinsley. When a nasty Mr. and Mrs. Buckles set their caps to acquire poor old neighbor George's shabby barn and paltry acres (left to the retired groom in a lifetime trust by a former employer), Tom and Rachael can offer little more than moral support. But frugal George has a trick up his cunning sleeve and gazumps the villainous Buckles in the end. Then, when on exchange holiday from France, a heartbroken lad smuggles in his dearly beloved Chihuahua, Minou, and a rabies scare ensues; which is nothing to the time when disabled, grumpy Mrs. Kyle, Rachael's cackling, gossipy friend, dies trapped in a house fire, and Rachael (unknowingly pregnant) tries to plunge in and save her, losing her unborn child in the process. Hubby ships depressed Rachael off for an extended cure stay at Mother's, and, upon her return, the nuptial lovers find time to share another crushing hug or two, along with midnight raids on the refrigerator. Rachael is soon pregnant again and off to what may well prove to be yet another sequel. For fans, another chapter in this plodding veterinarian's life.