Pierre Josset is a country veterinarian who’s been practicing for several years around the village of Valerande-les-Chantelles. He roams the farmlands treating animals on dairy farms and horse ranches, conducting acrobatic calvings, and performing emergency operations on injured deer. His car trunk is stuffed with medical equipment and a muddy pair of boots and mucky overalls. When he’s not out on the road, Pierre treats patients in the office he set up in the village’s abandoned school, where meows, yowls and squawks ring out in hallways still lined with child-size coat racks. Valerande-les-Chantelles has started to revive since Pierre opened his practice in the village where he was born 60 years ago. And though most of its shops closed down years ago along with the school, Pierre is convinced his beloved village can stay alive. That’s why he came back home, after practicing in the city for many years. But with the nearest doctor more than 30 km away, it’s not easy to convince young couples to stay around or to entice city dwellers to move in. Valerande is slowly dying out, as its elderly residents fade away. But fresh hopes are kindled with the arrival of the young family physician Emma Colin, whose medical scholarship requires her to practice for the first three years in a medical desert.
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