Sunday, November 29, 2020

BOOK REVIEW: An Irish Country Wedding by Patrick Taylor

When I want a simple, heartwarming, non-taxing, holiday read, or anytime I want something reliably entertaining with subdued-to-absent conflict, I turn to Patrick Taylor’s An Irish Country series. I’m up to Book 7: An Irish Country Wedding

Doctor Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly, the sympathetic general practitioner in fictional Ballybucklebo,  is preparing to finally wed the sweetheart from his long-ago medical school days, Kitty O’Halloran. They are very much in love and it should be smooth sailing for them, but there are a few hiccups.

First, O’Reilly’s assistant and would-be new partner, Dr. Barry Laverty, is having second thoughts about small-town general practice. He hates that he has to send every complicated case to the big city hospital for treatment. He has a particular knack for obstetrics, so has signed on to do a fellowship in the city, with the understanding that he has a few months to make up his mind about returning to Ballybucklebo.

The second potential problem is that O’Reilly’s long-standing housekeeper and cook, Kinky Kincaid, is on the defensive, worried that she will be replaced by the new wife. Since Kitty O’Halloran is a nurse who has no intention of quitting her job, Kinky’s place is secure, but she has trouble believing that. And then, she is stricken with a strangulated hernia, requiring a prolonged hospital stay and an even longer recuperation period, which makes her even more nervous about losing her place. O’Reilly, Laverty, and O’Halloran have to convince her she’s indispensable.

Along the way, there are the usual ups and downs amongst the townspeople. Various ailments, some mild, some life-threatening, need to be attended to. And there are a variety of social problems--the rich getting richer and the poor getting taken advantage of--that O’Reilly and, increasingly, Laverty, take a hand in sorting out or ameliorating.

It’s a community of decent people, full of affection for one another, living their lives. The books are a bit old-fashioned and a little bit corny, but that was perfect for a Thanksgiving read.

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