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Culture and Arts

Culture Watch

In this issue:

An Irish Country Village recalls Patrick Taylor’s firm grip on how to spin a wild Irish tale, full of very real (although often eccentric) folk, and the lively times in the life of the village of Ballybucklebo. Firefly Lane displays some good writing but its soap opera ways turns off our reviewer. Where Did I Leave My Glasses; The What, When, and Why of Normal Memory Loss demonstrates easy style and humor, along with the author's impressive research making this new book a must-have for anyone concerned about lapses of memory.

AN IRISH COUNTRY VILLAGE

by Patrick Taylor, ©2008
Published by Tom Doherty Associates, 2008
Hardback, 419 pp

 

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, there’s a new novel by Dr. Patrick Taylor. This one is a follow-up to his An Irish Country Doctor, which was a New York Times Bestseller. Set in the Ulster town of Ballybucklebo, it again features the brilliant but improbable Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly, his housekeeper, Mrs. Kincaid (called “Kinky”), and his earnest young associate, Dr. Barry Laverty.

Anyone who read the first book will recall Taylor’s firm grip on how to spin a wild Irish tale, full of very real (although often eccentric) folk, and the lively times in the life of the village of Ballybucklebo.

While this story is as Irish as a leprechaun, it is also grounded in modern problems like a greedy developer who wants, to the despair of the populace, to tear down the village pub. There is also the young doctor’s struggle to hold up his head in the face of village gossip when he appears to have made a missed diagnosis that resulted in the death of a patient. And just to add to his woes, he must try to be supportive when his girl wins a scholarship that means she’ll be absent from his life for three full years.

Dr. O’Reilly, the older doctor, thinks nothing of messing with the lives of his patients. He is often devious, but he is also wise and goodhearted, and manages to pull off a series of maneuvers that leave us laughing and loving him despite his rather highhanded dance with the truth.

If you want a lighthearted Irish romp, pick up An Irish Country Village. There are even some of Kinky’s good Irish recipes in the final pages, and a glossary of terms peculiar to “Ulster-Scots,” the dialect of the Irish region of Ulster.

JS

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© 2008 Julia Sneden for SeniorWomen.com
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