An Irish Country Christmas: A Novel (Irish Country Books) Info

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Barry Laverty, M.B., is looking forward to his first
Christmas in the cozy village of Ballybucklebo, at least until he learns
that his sweetheart, Patricia, might not be coming home for the
holidays. That unhappy prospect dampens his spirits somewhat, but Barry
has little time to dwell on his romantic disappointments. Christmas may
be drawing nigh, but there is little peace to be found on earth,
especially for a young doctor plying his trade in the emerald hills and
glens of rural Ireland.

Along with his senior partner, Doctor
Fingal Flahertie O'Reilly, Barry has his hands full dealing with
seasonal coughs and colds, as well as the occasional medical emergency.
To add to the doctors' worries, competition arrives in the form of a
patient-poaching new physician whose quackery threatens the health and
well-being of the good people of Ballybucklebo. Can one territory
support three hungry doctors? Barry has his doubts.

But the wintry
days and nights are not without a few tidings of comfort and joy.
Between their hectic medical practice, Rugby Club parties, and the
kiddies' Christmas Pageant, the two doctors still find time to play
Santa Claus to a struggling single mother with a sick child and not
enough money in the bank. Snow is rare in Ulster, and so are miracles,
but that doesn't mean they never happen. . . .


Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for An Irish Country Christmas: A Novel (Irish Country Books):

2

Dec 15, 2016

Aw, man! How much does it suck when you save something like it's a treat, like it's your favorite ice cream you've earned at the end of the week, only to unwrap it and find that in fact it's just something that sounds like your favorite, with a key word missing that you didn't see when you grabbed it so fast, so excited, at the store? It's just not the same and it doesn't count at all. You feel cheated, you know?

That's pretty much how I feel about this. I saw signs of decline in the last book, Aw, man! How much does it suck when you save something like it's a treat, like it's your favorite ice cream you've earned at the end of the week, only to unwrap it and find that in fact it's just something that sounds like your favorite, with a key word missing that you didn't see when you grabbed it so fast, so excited, at the store? It's just not the same and it doesn't count at all. You feel cheated, you know?

That's pretty much how I feel about this. I saw signs of decline in the last book, but here it just reaches its full blown conclusion of increasing terribleness. This man is not a professional author, and while I suppose it is to his credit that it took me until book three to not be able to avoid noticing that, it's glaring now. This thing was repetitive and far too impressed with its own research and local color. I swear half of it was reminding us of plot from the previous two books. I also never thought I'd say this, but he actually took kindness to his characters waaaaay too far- everyone turns out to be just misunderstood and truly lovely! There is no evil here! Even the Catholics and Protestants magically get along in the magical land of Ballybucklebo! Because, I dunno, something happened twenty years ago and now everyone loves each other forever in *this* corner of 1960s Ulster. It means there is never any tension or growth or progress, because everyone's an undercover angel. I got to the point of rooting for Patricia to bail hard on Barry so she could live in a land of actual three dimensional people with actual personalities rather than repeated bits of colorful Irish dialogue and one story to remember them by. Taylor felt the need to redeem everyone's idiosyncrasies and I have no idea why. I liked the comforting aspect of this too, but there is a limit where it crosses the line into Hallmark card and walking-talking inspirational poster territory.

Ugh. I dunno. I guess the next one is a backstory in a totally different place, so maybe it would almost have to be more interesting? We'll see but I doubt I'll be back for awhile. ...more
5

Jan 19, 2013

This is the first book I've read by Patrick Taylor, and I was nicely surprised! I buy Christmas books every year as my own little tradition, to take a break from the fast paced reading that is my norm. I tend to read everything available, with a lot of thrillers, scifi and hot paranormal romance for fun. I love page turners.

An Irish Country Christmas is a true delight. I was drawn to the book after my recent vacation in Ireland, and I'm happy to report that Taylor captured the magnificent Irish This is the first book I've read by Patrick Taylor, and I was nicely surprised! I buy Christmas books every year as my own little tradition, to take a break from the fast paced reading that is my norm. I tend to read everything available, with a lot of thrillers, scifi and hot paranormal romance for fun. I love page turners.

An Irish Country Christmas is a true delight. I was drawn to the book after my recent vacation in Ireland, and I'm happy to report that Taylor captured the magnificent Irish beautifully.

Why do I love this book? It meanders along in such a beautiful way telling a lovely Christmas story. Dr. Barry Laverty is the young, new doctor in Ballybucklebo (I love that name!), and works with senior partner Dr. Fingal Flaherty O'Reilly. These are the men I want for my own doctors - smart, friendly, and caring. The glimpse into small town medical practices makes me yearn for a slower life.

Kinky Kincaid, Dr. O'Reilly's housekeeper and so much more than that. Amazing cook, a touch of the sight, and a caring/knowing way about her. I'd listen too what Kinky has to say, always.

There are love stories in this book, but they aren't the highlight. The people of Ballybucklebo are the real story. Times can be hard, and people come together during the holidays to make things better. The children in the story will make you laugh out loud!

Take a break from your hectic life, slow down a bit and enjoy a truly wonderful book. ...more
4

Nov 21, 2008

I have never before read anything by Patrick Taylor, but I am a sucker for all things Irish and anything Christmas so I took a chance…and I am very glad I did!

Two country doctors care for the people in the cozy little town of Ballybucklebo in Northern Ireland. Dr. O’Reilly is the senior partner who has recently taken the younger Dr. Laverty into his already well established practice. Together the two of them share the office practice and on call responsibilities while nurturing there budding I have never before read anything by Patrick Taylor, but I am a sucker for all things Irish and anything Christmas so I took a chance…and I am very glad I did!

Two country doctors care for the people in the cozy little town of Ballybucklebo in Northern Ireland. Dr. O’Reilly is the senior partner who has recently taken the younger Dr. Laverty into his already well established practice. Together the two of them share the office practice and on call responsibilities while nurturing there budding friendship.

The cast of characters are so well written and so vibrant it was so easy to picture them all, care for them all and feel like part of this quaint village. Mr. Taylor takes us through the daily lives of two country doctors where only part of their responsibilities is actual medicine, in Ballybucklebo a doctor is also therapist, friend, confidant, child care provider and in most cases…miracle worker.

The author writes in the Ulster dialect and that gives the reader a lesson in the Irish way of speaking and lends to the authentic feel of the story. At the back of the book are recipes from Kinky Kincaid, the good doctor’s housekeeper. There is also a glossary of the Ulster-Scots dialect’s phrases and words to help the reader along the way.

This was a thoroughly entertaining read that had me laughing out loud and flipping through the pages eagerly. Mr. Taylor is a gifted storyteller and he created a vivid and memorable tale. I can’t wait to visit Ballybucklebo again, and will read the first two books in the series now as I am hooked on this imaginary village.

So have a pew (take a seat) and enjoy this warm and wonderful holiday tale.

Cherise Everhard, November 2008 ...more
5

Feb 18, 2009

I haven't commented on the first two books I read that are in the same 'series,' so I feel I should rectify that after finishing this one (after staying up late last night to do so). When I was in high school, I read and loved James Herriot's books in the All Things Great and Small series, focusing on his daily adventures as a country vet in rural England in the 40's - 50's. If you've not read them, I highly recommend - good stories, warm characters that you take into your heart, and lots of I haven't commented on the first two books I read that are in the same 'series,' so I feel I should rectify that after finishing this one (after staying up late last night to do so). When I was in high school, I read and loved James Herriot's books in the All Things Great and Small series, focusing on his daily adventures as a country vet in rural England in the 40's - 50's. If you've not read them, I highly recommend - good stories, warm characters that you take into your heart, and lots of laughs. The first book from Patrick Taylor, An Irish Country Doctor, has many parallels and I loved it just as much. The characters are true and believable, after you get used to the eccentricities many of them have (and growing up in a small rural town I know that there are plenty of eccentric people), the calls the doctors make are interesting, and since the author bases the setting and style of writing from life experience, the world of northern Ireland in a smal rural town comes alive. The local colloquialisms and phrases the author uses (with a helpful glossary in back, just in case) make me connect to my grandparents, who used some of them a lot as I was growing up.
PBS made a wheeker of a series on All Creatures Great and Small... and I think these three books should be a new series for them - I know I would watch as intently as I'm watching for the next book. ...more
4

Dec 22, 2015

Reading this book was like soaking in a hot tub with a glass of wine. I found the characters to be memorable, and their turn of phrase and slang brought me back to the Ireland of my childhood. Highly recommended, and given a fourth star for the comfort I felt in reading it.
4

Nov 30, 2018

This is the third Irish Country book and this one has a lot of moving parts. It's still one of my favorites though. Not going to lie, though I initially felt for Doctor Barry Laverty in this one, I ended up losing all of my sympathy after a while due to how he was treating the woman he is dating (Patricia Spence). Him acting as if her studies or meeting new people, seeing new things is not as important as coming home to spend a few days with him during the holidays got old after a while. The This is the third Irish Country book and this one has a lot of moving parts. It's still one of my favorites though. Not going to lie, though I initially felt for Doctor Barry Laverty in this one, I ended up losing all of my sympathy after a while due to how he was treating the woman he is dating (Patricia Spence). Him acting as if her studies or meeting new people, seeing new things is not as important as coming home to spend a few days with him during the holidays got old after a while. The star of this one really is Doctor Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly and his second chance romance with Sister (meaning nurse) Kitty O'Hallorhan. It's so weird though, the first couple of books acts as if O'Reilly and Kitty didn't really have much of anything until you read the later books. I am shocked that O'Reilly didn't look her up ages ago or at least get why she felt the way she did about him.

"An Irish Country Christmas" has the village of Ballybucklebo waiting for the Christmas season. Unlike in the first two books, we have Taylor switching between Doctor Barry Laverty and Doctor Fingal O'Reilly. Both men have the holidays and romance on their mind in this one.

Barry was an ass in this one. I can't say much more than this. I get that the book takes place in 1964 and of course men's attitudes about equality among the sexes had not set in yet, but good grief. Barry got involved with Patricia Spence in book #1 with the understanding that she was attending Cambridge. Him all of a sudden acting put upon because she is studying and meeting people got old fast. Barry I realized was quite selfish when it came to his relationship in this book.

“The same family own property with a big wood, and that was the very spot A. A. Milne called the Hundred Acre Wood in the Pooh stories.”

“Really?” He started to let his tone show his disinterest. He was certain she was using all this trivial chitchat as a smoke screen to avoid having to tell him she wasn’t coming home. “That’s interesting."

"Barry took a deep breath. “Look, Patricia, it’s great to chat, but I need to know so I can work out on-call schedules with Fingal . . . are you coming home?” He heard the edge of irritation creep into her voice. “I still don’t know.” Barry tried not to let his own disappointment show. “If you still don’t know, why did you call?” “Because, Barry, I like to hear your voice”—her tones were measured—“and I knew Jenny’s dad wouldn’t mind. I miss you, and I was happy we would be able to talk.”

I swear, after a while I started just sighing heavily and speeding past Barry's sections.

Fingal has a lot of thinking to do in this one. Kitty throws it out there that she could care for Fingal again, but she won't wait forever for him. Fingal is still haunted by his first wife's death.

The doctors are still doing what they can to take care of the villagers in Ballybucklebo. We get another antagonist in this one besides Bertie, we have an introduction to a former classmate of Fingal's, Doctor Roland Hercules Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick was awful in these earlier books and one wonders why Taylor ended up getting rid of all of the doctors antagonists in this series. It has started to make things dull in these books.

The writing in these earlier works was good to me. Taylor explains diagnosis and what people did back then with regards to labor and other things.

The flow wasn't great though. I always tell people if you read these books be prepared for some repetition and slowness to things. It's not a bad way to spend an afternoon inside.

The happy ending was funny to me based on what ends up happening next in the series with regards to Barry and Fingal's romances. ...more
5

Jan 24, 2009

I LOVE Patrick Taylor's books. Irish Country Doctor and Irish Country Christmas make me long to live in a place like Ballybucklebo...but only if I could have a housekeeper/cook like Kinky!
3

Dec 29, 2008

This was a Christmas gift from a dear friend. With a strained back, I spent a day or so reading this charming book set in the fictional Ballybucklebo, in Northern ireland, wondering if the young Doctor's girl friend would come back from London for Christmas. If this sounds like chicklit to you, so be it. There are many references to Irish lore, language, etc. that rang a bell. I did get a bit of the feeling that these cultural references were a bit heavy handed and not skillfully woven into the This was a Christmas gift from a dear friend. With a strained back, I spent a day or so reading this charming book set in the fictional Ballybucklebo, in Northern ireland, wondering if the young Doctor's girl friend would come back from London for Christmas. If this sounds like chicklit to you, so be it. There are many references to Irish lore, language, etc. that rang a bell. I did get a bit of the feeling that these cultural references were a bit heavy handed and not skillfully woven into the storyline. While an enjoyable book, I did find that it wasn't particularly challenging reading. If you like Jan Karon, you'll like this. Am I too old for this kind of book? Perhaps. On the other hand, there are worse ways to spend a quiet winter aftenoon and my back IS feeling better. ...more
4

Dec 22, 2015

This was a heart warming 3.5* read which I'm going to round up because of how much it defied my expectations. It's not my typical type of read, but I enjoyed the language, and the medical bits reminded me of Call The Midwife. I'm so glad GRI choose this as our final monthly read of 2015.
5

Nov 26, 2012

What a fantastic read! It has no politics, no deep message, just a really great story! So refreshing!
5

Nov 10, 2019

What James Herriot did for the country veterinarian, Patrick Taylor does for the country doctor. In this charming tale, it’s Christmas, and if things tend to work out for the best, it can be forgiven in the spirit of the season. All the characters in the tale, from the two doctors to their housekeeper and the villagers are all well developed with their own quirky personalities. Reading about these delightful people as they go about their days is pure entertainment. But don’t make the mistake of What James Herriot did for the country veterinarian, Patrick Taylor does for the country doctor. In this charming tale, it’s Christmas, and if things tend to work out for the best, it can be forgiven in the spirit of the season. All the characters in the tale, from the two doctors to their housekeeper and the villagers are all well developed with their own quirky personalities. Reading about these delightful people as they go about their days is pure entertainment. But don’t make the mistake of thinking the the book is all light-hearted fluff; it has real depth in its plot. Highly recommended. ...more
2

Dec 26, 2018

An Irish Country Christmas by Patrick Taylor is book 3 of the Irish Country series, set in Ulster, Northern Ireland. Christmas season 1964 is doctor Barry Lafferty's first holiday season in Ballybucklebo. In this tiny rural town, everyone knows everyone else. Barry is well liked for his caring and healing skills. He has learned the foibles of country folk, and adjusted his demeanor and practices accordingly. Barry enjoys living and working with senior doctor Fingal O'Reilly. Their housekeeper An Irish Country Christmas by Patrick Taylor is book 3 of the Irish Country series, set in Ulster, Northern Ireland. Christmas season 1964 is doctor Barry Lafferty's first holiday season in Ballybucklebo. In this tiny rural town, everyone knows everyone else. Barry is well liked for his caring and healing skills. He has learned the foibles of country folk, and adjusted his demeanor and practices accordingly. Barry enjoys living and working with senior doctor Fingal O'Reilly. Their housekeeper Kinky Kincaid watches over them in a motherly way. She cooks them sensational feasts.

Fingal has been mourning his late wife Deidre for 25 years. He rekindles a long-ago friendship with Kitty O'Halloran (they met in med school), and starts opening up his heart. Together in an emergency they successfully delivered a breech baby at the mother's home, so they are well aware of each other's medical skill.

The emergency was caused by a quack doctor, new in town, who dismissed the experienced midwife and did not examine the pregnant woman properly. A breech birth is dangerous for baby and mother. The mother should have been under careful scrutiny through her pregnancy, and hospitalized for the birth. The quack also prescribed gunpowder for the husband of a woman who was trying (but failing) to conceive. At first Barry and Fingal were concerned the new doctor would steal patients from their practice. Once they realize his quack methods are endangering patients, they intervene.

A major annoying plot thread: Barry's girlfriend Patricia Spence is studying civil engineering in Cambridge. He's really looking forward to seeing her again. In her rare phone calls, she waffles whether she'll come to visit for Christmas. At first, the excuse is the uncertainty of her father's Christmas bonus, so she delays any plans. She refuses to let Barry pay for her ticket. Next phone call, no mention is made of the first excuse; the second excuse is that she has been too busy to ask for time on a telephone, so she couldn't call a travel agent; she spends her free time going to museums. Next excuse: she has gone to stay with a classmate in a lovely country house near some nature preserve. She yammers on and on about architecture and endangered ducks, while Barry is breathlessly waiting to hear if he will see her soon. He suggests she try a lower-cost ferry. And so on. Eventually her excuse is it's too late, plane and ferry tickets are sold out. As time goes on and the excuses mount, Barry questions the relationship. He's always feared that she would no longer be interested in a country doctor in rural Ulster, after the excitement of Cambridge and nearby London.

Meanwhile Barry and Fingal are busy every day treating their patients. Christmas holiday approaches, there are many community events to be arranged, many financial issues both with clubs and private citizens. Warm-hearted Barry and Fingal do their best to see that all children get a gift from Santa. Barry befriends several young women in their small town. He's beginning to appreciate their physical characteristics, too. The dress shop owner he previously thought to be a bitter hag (in an earlier book) proves to be a fascinating woman who grew up in India. The local school teacher is a warm and caring person, who reciprocates his interest. A student nurse at a dance in Belfast bores him with her taste in music, although she attracted him with a nice figure. Barry is ripe for a relationship. Perhaps a new friendship he formed in this book could lead to romance, with a woman who is happy with life in rural Ulster.

The first half to two-thirds of the book is well-paced with a plot that flows naturally from event to event. Later chapters seem anecdotal, repeating themes of holiday spirit and friendship (too much). ...more
3

Dec 18, 2017

I've had this on my list of books for quite a while for my annual December holiday-themed festival of books. I've not read any of the other books set in the Northern Ireland village of Ballybucklebo during the early 1960's, but this one easily slid into my Christmas reading for 2017. We meet and hear the maladies, sometimes real and often imagined, of the village folks and see how young Dr. Barry Laverty and the crusty practice owner, Dr. Fingal Flahertie O'Reilly work together to keep everyone I've had this on my list of books for quite a while for my annual December holiday-themed festival of books. I've not read any of the other books set in the Northern Ireland village of Ballybucklebo during the early 1960's, but this one easily slid into my Christmas reading for 2017. We meet and hear the maladies, sometimes real and often imagined, of the village folks and see how young Dr. Barry Laverty and the crusty practice owner, Dr. Fingal Flahertie O'Reilly work together to keep everyone healthy and feeling good. The village has a great assortment of characters that keep things lively and fun.

Some random notes:
- this was a loooooong book, coming in at just under 500 pages or almost 17 hours of listening. The audiobook narrator contributed greatly to my hanging in there for all those hours. I don't think I would have had the patience to read in print.
- Laverty, right out of med school, has just been with O'Reilly for 5 months. And this is book three! The series must move at a snail's pace, reminding me of soap operas or comics that you can dip into occasionally and never miss a thing.
- Patrick Taylor must have some sort of medical training. Above noted maladies are described in excruciating detail, along with the medical procedures designed to cure them.
- O'Reilly is an integral part of the community, caring for his customers lives as a whole as well as their illnesses. Laverty is thrilled to be part of this kind of practice. This aspect made this book particularly enjoyable.
- The relationship of Laverty and O'Reilly reminded me of All Creatures Great and Small.
- Laverty is obsessed as to whether is love, Patricia, will or will not make it home for Christmas from her first year at Cambridge University. His anxiety-ridden ruminations about will she/won't she that go ON AND ON about this were my least favorite parts of the book.
- O'Reilly's housekeeper Kinky Kinkaid was my favorite character. She manages to keep things humming in the household and the practice, keeps everyone on an emotional even keel and churns out awesome food morning, noon and night for occasions large and small.
- No one's problems are insurmountable and everything ends in "happily ever after"!

Just what the Doctor ordered, so to speak! :)
...more
2

Nov 14, 2010

I'm sad to say that this book was a disappointment to me. Being part Irish myself, I was very interesting in reading this book when I saw it on the store shelf. I was even glad to see that it was part of a series, so that I might read the other titles.

However, it ended up being I had to force-feed myself the book, and it was well after Christmas before I finished it. I finished it out of sheer determination, because I have this self-loathing thing I do when I set a book down undone.

In this I'm sad to say that this book was a disappointment to me. Being part Irish myself, I was very interesting in reading this book when I saw it on the store shelf. I was even glad to see that it was part of a series, so that I might read the other titles.

However, it ended up being I had to force-feed myself the book, and it was well after Christmas before I finished it. I finished it out of sheer determination, because I have this self-loathing thing I do when I set a book down undone.

In this story, the reader is re-introduced to Barry, O'Reilly, Kinky, and the rest of the villagers. I say re-introduced, because I was able to determine that Barry's story started in another book prior to this one. I also was able to figure out that O'Reilly's story continues from this one in "An Irish Country Courtship".

Barry is a young GP, who has moved to the small Irish, country village to assist the elderly GP (O'Reilly) and hopefully become his partner at the surgery. Surgery is what they term as clinic or doctor's office.

O'Reilly, the elderly GP, was for me the best of the book. That old man is a hoot, and I absolutely loved his personality!

Kinky is the fiery housemaid for the 2 doctors and is force to be reckoned with in her own right. She's also a fun character as you watch her be stern with the doctors, soft on them as they need, and fierce to any who challenge her or them. Kinky also has "the gift", as in she will from time to time see events in the future. It really only occurred once or twice in the story, but was alluded to a few more times.

I think Taylor did a good job of describing life in a small village. How most people know your business almost before you do. How there will be issues amongst the inhabitants, but they band together when needed and against "foes".

Normally, I love a series where I get to return to characters, or where the story centers around one or a few main characters, but extend to a few others throughout the series. However, that wasn't the case here.

I will give a few concessions as to why I might not have enjoyed the book as much. I started the book right before Christmas, so I might have been a smidge burnt out on holiday themes. Christmas is a busy time of year, so I might not have been able to apply myself as diligently to the book as it needed. Christmas is also a time when my house is noisier than usual (family and all), so I might not have been able to fully immerse myself into the story as I normally do.

However, I found that for the story just came across as a filler story. There really wasn't a "traditional" sense of a story (conclusive beginning and end). It came across more as a running journal of the lives of Barry and O'Reilly.

I can't really pin down what bothered me most of the story or why I couldn't "get into it", but that's how it was. I walked away dissatisfied and feeling as if something was lacking. ...more
3

Dec 12, 2012

I do so enjoy the Irish Country series. These books are like comfort food for my reader's soul. This was a tale of snow and Christmas pudding, turkeys, and ham, Jameson's whisky, and Father Christmas handing out presents, which transported me from my warm Australian Christmas over to Ireland for the month of December! Looking forward to the next!
2

Jan 14, 2011

I did not enjoy this one as much as the other two. Barry is kind of annoying in his insecurities surrounding Patricia. But overall, it is a cute story of a time and town that would never work in today's world...sadly.
4

Dec 16, 2009

I can't wait for Patrick Taylors next book in this series. It makes me want to visit Ireland, even in the winter. Especially at Christmas.
4

Jul 31, 2013

This is the third book in "An Irish Country" series set in 1964. For me, this book is different than the first two books which were filled with great character development and the quirky things going on in Ballybucklebo. About half way through this book, I was bored and had the desire to skip pages (but didn't). It seemed that the writing was overly descriptive, and I was tired of listening to Patricia, who was more concerned with her freedom on school break, then being with the man she loves?! This is the third book in "An Irish Country" series set in 1964. For me, this book is different than the first two books which were filled with great character development and the quirky things going on in Ballybucklebo. About half way through this book, I was bored and had the desire to skip pages (but didn't). It seemed that the writing was overly descriptive, and I was tired of listening to Patricia, who was more concerned with her freedom on school break, then being with the man she loves?! She seemed like a broken record regarding her feminism. Was she just leading him on? "Is this girl committed to this guy or what?" Personally I don't know of any real loving relationship, where the girl -- in a serious relationship -- would (1) not immediately buy a ticket in order to be with her boyfriend that she professes to "love", and (2) why was her priority to vacation with her school chums for a mini-vacation and visit birds? Meanwhile, Dr. Barry is distraught because his girlfriend, a civil engineering student, can't seem to make it home from Cambridge for the holidays.

I liked the relationship between Dr. O'Reilly and Kitty O'Hallorhan, a friend of his from his earlier days. Dr. O'Reilly lost his first wife in the wartime bombing of Belfast, and is trying to decide if he will allow himself to fall in love with the nurse (Kitty) he knew as a student.

A new, obnoxious, self-centered doctor (Dr. Ronald Hercules Fitzpatrick) whose quackery threatens the health and well-being of the good people of Ballybucklebo. Can one territory support three hungry doctors? Barry has his doubts.

Both Dr. O'Reilly and Dr. Laverty are more than doctors in their community. Being a country doctor, Dr. O'Reilly has learned, that you treat more than just medical conditions. For example, the doctors want to help Eileen Lindsay, a young widow who is worried finding money to buy her three children presents as well as food on the table. The community makes it possible for her family not only to win the turkey raffle but also a great deal of money to help them get back on their feet; and making the Shanks family, who are new in town and don't yet know the local customs, are received like family.

I also loved when they went to church at night and what the children did when "Mary and Joseph" were looking for a place to stay . . .LOL! ...more
2

Nov 05, 2010

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is a book I wanted to like. I love Christmas, and I've been a fan of John B. Keane's Irish Christmas books for years and years. So I thought I'd be getting something really enjoyable. Unfortunately, for me, I was just a hard slog and little else. I didn't absolutely hate, but I took my copy to the used bookstore, if that tells you anything.

It's a hefty piece to start with, coming in just under 700 pages. It's not a real novel, but more a collection of stories, bound together by the This is a book I wanted to like. I love Christmas, and I've been a fan of John B. Keane's Irish Christmas books for years and years. So I thought I'd be getting something really enjoyable. Unfortunately, for me, I was just a hard slog and little else. I didn't absolutely hate, but I took my copy to the used bookstore, if that tells you anything.

It's a hefty piece to start with, coming in just under 700 pages. It's not a real novel, but more a collection of stories, bound together by the Christmas theme. And the characters are very interesting. I found Barry's mentor to be the most interessting by far.

The biggest problem is it's just wading. No real tension, inviting the reader to come back, wondering exactly what's going to come next. The main concern is whether or not Barry's girlfriend will make it back for Christmas Day, from her studies in England. I knew from the start she would. It was just long, hard slog, with not enough of a pay off.

Taylor, the author, is going for the human version of James Herriott's (Alf Whyte) veterinarian stories. The difference--at least in this entry--is Herriott's stories never felt too long, or force. Here I had to force myself to read it for the monthy column I write. I know Publisher's Weekly loved it, and loves him as a writer. Based on this title, I'm not going back to Taylor again. I'll stay with John B. Keane.

...more
4

Feb 12, 2018

Re-read 2018

The third book in the Irish Country series. This one has a bit of tension to it, due to some relationship issues. I will warn for cheating since some people have an issue with it. This is the obligatory Christmas book that most ongoing series seem to have. The main character is still learning what it means to be a General Practitioner in a small town in Northern Ireland during the mid-1960s. I'm still a huge fan of this series and can't wait for the next to be available at the Re-read 2018

The third book in the Irish Country series. This one has a bit of tension to it, due to some relationship issues. I will warn for cheating since some people have an issue with it. This is the obligatory Christmas book that most ongoing series seem to have. The main character is still learning what it means to be a General Practitioner in a small town in Northern Ireland during the mid-1960s. I'm still a huge fan of this series and can't wait for the next to be available at the library.

Re-read 2019

I love this series, it's a cleaned-up view of a fictional small town in Ireland set during The Troubles. Even though the doctors are the main characters the rest of the village are just as much fun to read about. ...more
2

Jan 18, 2010

EASY read. Part of a series - won't continue as it's not my type of book, but needed easy through the holidays. Small-town doctors in Ireland. I suspect Mr. Taylor more than over exaggerates the HEROIC feats of the doctors in this story, but the doctors' methods got me thinking (once I got past the ridiculous banter and silly dialogue). Medicine used to be practiced by DOCTORS, not their various nurses and assistants who do nothing but weigh, measure and take notes on the masses to pass on to EASY read. Part of a series - won't continue as it's not my type of book, but needed easy through the holidays. Small-town doctors in Ireland. I suspect Mr. Taylor more than over exaggerates the HEROIC feats of the doctors in this story, but the doctors' methods got me thinking (once I got past the ridiculous banter and silly dialogue). Medicine used to be practiced by DOCTORS, not their various nurses and assistants who do nothing but weigh, measure and take notes on the masses to pass on to the doctors who no longer connect with their patients on a personal, humane level and get to the root of the problem, but prescribe multitudes of medicines in order to "fix". ...more
4

Feb 02, 2018

This was my first in this series. It was slow starting, but I found myself engrossed in the daily happening of two doctors in a small country town in Irland. The character are intertaining and believable. Could not put it down.
2

Dec 29, 2010

A cute setting and two likable characters, but there wasn't much holding the story together. Just the day to day ramblings of two country doctors before Christmas. I was in the Christmas spirit enough to stick with it, but it was slow-going for much of it.
2

Oct 26, 2017

I would like to take Barry out back and punch him. The entire book, he whined that his girlfriend (away! from! him! in! England!) obviously could not have other interests than him (she dared go birdwatching with a female friend!! while he was missing her!!!!). Meanwhile, he was checking out the calves and "bottoms" of every other woman to cross his path. Every. Single. Woman. If the author wanted to drive home the brutal sexism and double-standards of the 1960s, he did a bang-up job.
It did get a I would like to take Barry out back and punch him. The entire book, he whined that his girlfriend (away! from! him! in! England!) obviously could not have other interests than him (she dared go birdwatching with a female friend!! while he was missing her!!!!). Meanwhile, he was checking out the calves and "bottoms" of every other woman to cross his path. Every. Single. Woman. If the author wanted to drive home the brutal sexism and double-standards of the 1960s, he did a bang-up job.
It did get a star because of the rich sense of place of the Irish village in the 1960s. ...more
3

Dec 14, 2019

This was the first of seasonal reads for me . It was cozy, full of Irish history, set in a small village with plenty of quirky characters. The book follows two local physicians, senior and junior partner as they go about their lives around the weeks before and during Christmas.
Overall it was a sweet read, although I confess to some skimming when the history went a bit long.

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