Apologies, dear readers, for posting this so late. My weekend got away from me and I hadn’t scheduled a post. I know how many of you love to start your week on Monday with a little coffee and blog reading;) Please forgive my tardiness.
Patrick Taylor is a new author for me. I hadn’t heard of him before I picked up this book at the book store. It caught my eye with the lovely pastoral picture on the front and the title An Irish Country Wedding. I’m a quarter Irish on my mom’s side. Anyway, it was a whim purchase, and once I got it home and read the synopsis on the back I started to question my whim. It was about exactly what the title implies, an Irish Country Wedding. No mention of a murder or generations old family secret coming to light. No hint of misdoings or malevolent intent towards the bride or groom. From what I could tell, it was going to be a nice little story about a lovely couple getting married in the Irish countryside. While I enjoy such tales in real life, I like my leisure reading filled with a bit more intrigue. But I bought it, and I did like the cover, so I decided to give it a shot.
I’m glad I did, in the end anyway. I struggled a bit through the first two chapters. We start to learn about our characters, a couple of country doctors in Ireland during the 1960s. We follow the young Dr. Laverty while he does his rounds, and learn a little about the bride (Kitty O’Hallorhan) and groom (Fingal O’Reilly) as they shop for a ring. We also meet Kinky Kincaid, the doctor’s housekeeper, as she struggles with a hernia and is sent to the hospital leaving the poor doc’s to fend for themselves at the mercy of all the housewives of Ballybucklebo. I started to get drawn in, and it became obvious that there was more history to these stories. That’s when I did a little research and learned that this is the seventh book in a series. I hate discovering you are reading a book that is smack dab in the middle of an ongoing series. Oh well, I was already several chapters in.
It was kinda like reading Doc Martin (a British TV show about a small town GP set in modern day), however the doctor’s have better bedside manners and they aren’t knocking up the local school headmistresses. It is the ’60s after all. That kinda thing would have been kept a bit more hush hush and the title would be a some variation of A Sudden Irish Country Wedding.
Also, Taylor keeps true to history. At least from what I can tell. He touches on the politics of the country at the time, nothing in depth, but more than I knew. You know where the story is happening in reference to time and other countries. He does mention what is going on in America and other places. Also, you learn about the practice of medicine in the 60s and how health care worked in Ireland then. It was really interesting to me.
This isn’t the type of books series I would read straight through. I do need the intrigue, so I may try to revisit the first book in the series later on. Perhaps amidst a few thrillers and an intellectually taxing philosophy book. This is the type of book that is a great break for the brain. It has a few small mysteries and, of course, a villain type character. Every community has a local grinch or scrooge that must be kept in line and Ballybucklebo is no different. It is overall, uplifting and encouraging. A great choice for between a few Nesbø novels when you need to exchange the darkness of Harry Hole for a bit of Irish light.