Thursday, January 31, 2008

An Irish Country Village-Patrick Taylor

An Irish Country Village
Patrick Taylor
Forge, Feb 2008, $25.95
ISBN: 9780765316240

In the 1960s having decided to practice medicine in Balleybucklebo, Northern Ireland, (see AN IRISH COUNTRY DOCTOR) Barry Laverty begins his “apprenticeship working for Dr. Fingal Flahertie O'Reilly, a local legend. He finds the wide range of patients with their diverse problems fascinating and keeps him attentive. Barry also quickly learns why his mentor is a superstar amongst the working class and he admires the grumpy Fingal. This is not so much due to his medical healing but more because he gets involved in the social affairs of the villagers.

Currently Fingal battles the council who want to change the Black Swan pub from a popular local establishment into a touristy thing to bring in more money. Barry also finds his attraction for engineering student Patricia Spence growing even as he fears yet hopes she will soon go to Cambridge. Finally he faces a malpractice lawsuit from a widow whose husband he misdiagnosed.

This warm sequel to AN IRISH COUNTRY DOCTOR is an entertaining tale that brings to life a small village in the 1960s. The storyline is character driven as the eccentric locals bring time and place to the foreground. Dr. Fingal is somewhat the stereotype of the grumpy caring aging doctor, but no one will care as he brings extra heart to the mix. Fans will enjoy the continuing saga of Dr. Barry Laverty as he holds the insightful tale together while growing into the heir apparent to the village doctor.

Harriet Klausner

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