Monday, November 26, 2012

An Irish Country Wedding - Patrick Taylor (Forge - Oct 2012)

Series: Irish Country Books (Book 7) 

Love is in the air in the colourful Ulster village of Ballybucklebo, where Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly has finally proposed to the darling of his youth, Kitty O’Hallorhan. There’s a wedding to be planned, but before O’Reilly can make it to the altar, he and his young colleague, Barry Laverty, M.B., must deal with the usual round of eccentric patients -- and crises both large and small.

Being a G.P. in a place like Ballybucklebo often means more than simply splinting broken bones and tending to aches and pains. It can also mean helping a struggling young couple acquire their first home, clearing the name of a cat accused of preying on a neighbor’s prize pigeons, and encouraging a bright working-class girl who dreams of someday becoming a doctor herself. And, if you’re Barry Laverty, still smarting from a painful breakup, there might even be a chance for a new romance with a lovely school teacher, if her passionate political convictions don’t get in the way. 

I love this series and this book was just as good as the others.  I feel as though I am visiting with old friends. One of the things I love most about this series is the reality of the way the characters are portrayed.  The medical parts are spoken of in a way that makes them completely understandable without feeling like I'm reading a textbook. The main theme, of course, is the upcoming wedding of Kitty and Dr. O'Reilly.  Before that can happen there are all the happenings that a pair of country doctors must deal with.  First is the illness of the housekeeper, Mrs. Kincaid.  Kinky ends up in the hospital, leaving Fingal and Barry to muddle through on their own.  But in the way of small towns, their neighbors are there to lend a hand.  They do have to reassure Kinky that she is missed and that her place with them is secure.  She is also dealing with the worry that things will change for the worse when Fingal marries Kitty.  I loved seeing how Kitty manages to win over Kinky.  There is also another run-in with the local councilman Bertie Bishop, when the doctors come out on top yet again.  While Kinky is out sick they hire Helen Hewitt to lend a hand in the house and find out that she has dreams to become a doctor.  This is not an easy thing for the daughter of a working class family in the mid 1960s and we see Fingal work his magic to help her.  And then there is Barry Laverty who is finally starting to recover from his breakup with Patricia.  He is getting to know Sue Nolan, a lovely school teacher who he likes very much.  The only difficulty is that she is very involved in the politics of Northern Ireland and Barry is very carefully neutral. This causes some conflict between the two of them. He is also preparing to leave Ballybucklbo to pursue specialist training and comes to realize just how much he will miss the people he has come to care for.  I am looking forward to the next book, though I expect it will be this time next year before it will be available.

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