An Irish Country Village

Patrick Taylor, Author . Forge $25.95 (431p) ISBN 978-0-7653-1624-0

This highly readable sequel to An Irish Country Doctor follows the trials and exultations of Dr. Barry Laverty as he begins his assistantship to Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly in Balleybucklebo, a fictional Irish Ulster village of the 1960s. Barry loves his diverse work—conjunctivitis to obstetrics—and his provincial patients are keen on folk wisdom and proverbs. He grows fond and admiring of his gruff, imposing senior colleague, who heals bodies and also attacks social maladies, like the greedy local councilor who threatens to turn the Black Swan, a local pub, into a tourist trap. Meanwhile, Barry’s infatuation with plucky engineering student Patricia Spence thickens, though her ambition may land her a scholarship that would lure her to Cambridge. And then there’s the matter of a potential career-ending lawsuit by a recent widow whose husband died after Barry botched a diagnosis. Detailed medical procedures of the era are fascinating to a modern reader, though Taylor sometimes throws in too much play-by-play. The book, with its spot-on dialects (a glossary is included for those who don’t know what, say, “soft hand under a duck” means) and neatly tied endings, largely succeeds as light entertainment. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 11/12/2007
Release date: 02/01/2008
Hardcover - 416 pages - 978-0-86322-402-7
Hardcover - 648 pages - 978-1-4104-0517-3
Paperback - 431 pages - 978-0-7653-2023-0
Compact Disc - 11 pages - 978-1-4272-0276-5
Ebook - 432 pages - 978-1-4299-2610-2
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