Wednesday, January 6, 2010

An Irish Country Village by Patrick Taylor


1. An Irish Country Village - second in the Irish Country series
by Patrick Taylor
fiction, 2008
library copy
unabridged audio read by John Keating
finished, 1/3/10


I am completely charmed by the Irish Country series set in the mid-1960s in Northern Ireland. I've really enjoyed the way each book covers only a short period of time, and the next one begins right where the other left off.

In the first book, the new doctor, Barry Laverty, doesn't spend as much time examining a patient as he feels he should have. He knows this, but he is young and on his way to visit his new girlfriend, and the man is a hypochondriac whose wife has called the doctors out many nights when there has been no problem. In this one instance though, it is the old tale of 'the boy who cried wolf.' This time there is something really wrong. In the second book, Barry fears a possible lawsuit stemming from the incident. And there is talk in the village that he isn't a good doctor.

The books are light-hearted and cheerful in many ways, but they also address serious issues in the life of this little village. There is an evil politico; there is an older couple not able to marry; there is an unmarried, pregnant young woman; there is a boss whose cruel behavior causes an employee's skin condition. Young Dr. Laverty learns that not everything is taught in medical school. Rules must be bent, and white lies must be told sometimes. His boss and guide, Dr. O'Reilly, is a true character who can be exasperating, but also very wise. And again, there is the wonderful Mrs. 'Kinky' Kincaid. She keeps the two of them on the straight and narrow, as she feeds and takes care of them. We also learn she has a bit of the second sight.

This video is not just about this book, but offers a great view of the countryside and pub life with the author speaking and bringing his books alive.



I've loved each book and look forward to the new one coming out this year.

More Patrick Taylor at Letters from a Hill Farm:

here

here

16 comments:

  1. You somehow find the best books. I have to read both of these this year before the new one comes out too. The video pure gold.

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  2. There are three, Margot. An Irish Country Doctor, An Irish Country Village, and An Irish Country Christmas. Oh, I love them.

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  3. this sounds like a very worthwhile series to read!!

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  4. I almost bought An Irish Country Doctor for myself, but hadn't heard much about it and got distracted.... now I am definitely going to pick up a copy!Thanks for this lovely review, Nan. I think my whole family might like these.

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  5. They do remind me, from your description, a bit of Rebecca Shaw's "Village" series. My mother-in-law sends them to me, and I like reading them because they, just like Patrick Taylor's, are always set in the same village, covering a relatively short space of time in the lives of the villagers, centering around one hoursehold (in her case, the young rector and his family) but offering whole chapters dedicated to the other people in the village as well.
    They have adultery, even murder, they have nice neighbours and some less so, they have problems like high rents and low employments, businesses opening and closing, accidents and drugs, and yet it all still makes for a very cosy read.

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  6. I sure think so, Staci!

    Susan, I think I may buy the books since I listened to library cds. I'd like to see those words, if you know what I mean. I think they are books I would read again too.

    Librarian, Interesting comparison. I'll look into the author.

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  7. Thanks Nan for the good review and that a book can be cheerful. That made me smile and I'm not Irish!
    ( Scottish~~ roots) I enjoyed the video. You are always inspiring me to read and read and read!

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  8. And I thank you, Bonnie. Actually Northern Ireland has a lot of what we call 'Scots-Irish' - Scots who were 'cleared out' of Scotland and brought over to Northern Ireland. That's where my father's ancestors came from. I love this series and so look forward to the fourth book.

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  9. I think I might like these! I am going to look into this series. I've seen it and wondered about it and now I know that you like it!

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  10. Hmmmm... I didn't know that about the Scots Irish. My son's girlfriend is Scots Irish and when I asked her about it, she didn't seem to know exactly what that all meant. I'll have to tell her about this.

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  11. I'm intrigued by these books! Do you know that An Irish Country Girl is now available?

    BTW, I love your new header, but didn't get around to telling you how much I loved the earlier one of your bookshelf. I even recognized a familiar new book. ;)

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  12. Tara, I just love them!

    Kay, there's a nonfiction book about the Scots-Irish in America called Born Fighting.

    Les, I do, and guess what - I got an email from the publisher offering me a copy to review!! I'm so excited! (thought you might spot Mr. B's book!)

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  13. How exciting to get an offer to review the new book!! I can't wait to hear your thoughts. I wonder if my mom would like these books.

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  14. Les, I'm quite sure she would enjoy them.

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  15. Nan, despite the fact I lived in N Ireland for many years as a child/teenager, I'd never heard of these books before. We used to live quite near Bangor as one stage too. I shall order one immediately.
    Love the new look of your blog. Maybe it isn't so new but I haven't done so much blog visiting in general for a while.

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  16. Susie, they aren't old books. They are set in the mid-sixties but are very, very recent. You'll want to begin with An Irish Country Doctor, the first in the series. Oh, I love them.

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