Sunday, November 11, 2012

An Irish Country Wedding

Author Patrick Taylor continues his lively series about the adventures of feisty Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly in the Northern Irish village of Ballybucklebo. Set in the 1960s, it is a village overrun by eccentric characters of every kind and is seemingly untouched by the outside world, until the world creeps in unbidden. Dr. O’Reilly is preparing to marry his sweetheart Kitty O’Hallorhan while dealing with the illness of his housekeeper, Kinky Kincaid. In the meantime, his partner in medicine, Dr. Barry Laverty, is having some romantic ups and downs as he helps O’Reilly deal with the various intrigues and crises in the village. Taylor adds a hint of political ferment for the first time ever in the series, which is appropriate considering how close Ballybucklebo is to Belfast. There is otherwise not a trace of religious conflict in the story, and it is difficult to tell who is Catholic and who is Protestant, which seems odd in a book about Ireland. There are a great many subplots which all come together at the end, as well as a prodigious amount of medical descriptions. Fraught with earthy humor, the wedding scene and the reception are particularly enjoyable for the comedy provided. Ballybucklebo is definitely worth a visit.

This review originally appeared in the November 2012 edition of the Historical Novels Review.

(*NOTE: This book was sent to me by the Historical Novel Society in exchange for my honest opinion.)


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