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An Irish Country Courtship (2010)

by Patrick Taylor(Favorite Author)
4.06 of 5 Votes: 1
0765321742 (ISBN13: 9780765321749)
Forge Books
Irish Country
review 1: This is the fifth book in the ongoing Irish Country series. In the last volume, the author provided a background story for Kinky Kincaid, the reliable and beloved cook and housekeeper who keeps the doctors’ home and office running like a well-oiled machine. This time we are taken back to the village of Ballybucklebo and meet all the familiar characters we left behind just after Christmas in book three. This story opens in the period between Christmas and New Year and Barry has just welcomed back his long awaited girlfriend Patricia Spence from Cambridge. Although they are happy to see one another, Barry has some deep seated concerns. Patricia had delayed her return to the village to spend the holidays with him as she had promised but her last minute planning almost thw... morearted her entire visit. Her failure to plan properly made it seem as if she did not really want to return to Ballybucklebo, and Barry is finding her more distant and detached. He is not only worried but he is racking his brain trying to figure out what he has done wrong. Has she changed her mind about him? Does she have a new boyfriend at Cambridge? What is going on? And then there are other women who seem to be skirting round Barry: the nurse Peggy Duff who he met at a nurses’ dance when he was out with his friend Jack, and Sue Nolan the pretty red headed teacher he met at the Xmas pageant. Barry’s romantic life appears to be in a state of flux. On the other hand, Fingal and Kitty’s romance seems to be developing nicely, and they are growing more comfortable with one another every day. But there are always hurdles in any relationship and Fingal is still dithering about his next steps, haunted by his memories of his beloved first wife Deirdre. Should he open himself up to more potential hurt if things don’t work out? And although Kinky wants nothing but happiness for Fingal, she seems fearful that Kitty may not only take over her kitchen and her adopted home, but also her so called “family”- the man she has worked and cared for these many years. Each book has its share of interesting medical problems and this one has sevral: a man choking to death at a party with a half-eaten pie caught in his throat; the imminent arrival of a set of premature twins in a remote location on a wet, windy and stormy night; the health of Alice Moloney who Barry has treated for anemia but who does not appear to be responding; and an outbreak of ringworm that continues at the school even though Barry has treated all the affected patients. Where is it coming from? And then there are the other prickly problems that affect the welfare of those living in the village that Fingal and Barry feel they must try to help solve, even though they have nothing to do with their medical practice. Often they involve Bertie Bishop, the calculating, sneaky, councilman who is always keen to make a quick dollar through some underhanded scheme. This time it is Bertie’s "share-in-a-horse" scam which may have several of his own workers in big money trouble. Barry is now at the point where he is seriously rethinking his future. He finds the practice of a country GP interesting and the two doctors have a healthy caseload, but there is also some boredom as well. It seems whenever there is anything interesting, Barry always has to refer to a specialist as only they have the tools and training to make a definitive diagnosis. At times it seems like A GP’s practice is less about treating major diseases and more about alleviating patient worries. But Barry has also come to realize that GPs get their satisfaction in a different way. Nonetheless, he is still considering his options, quietly creating a mental ledger in his mind noting the positive and negative sides to the question: is running A GP practice in Ballybucklebo what he really wants to do for the rest of his life? Or should he specialize in Obstetrics and Gynecology, an area in medicine which he enjoys and has done well. On the other hand, he is now a respected GP in the village, a place he has come to think of as home and he would really miss it if he left. There is always a bang up party or celebration which ends each book. This time it is a wild and exciting day of horse races at the tracks in Downpatrick. And then there is the intriguing hook that is dropped to lead and connect you to the next story in the series. Once again, an enjoyable read.
review 2: The fifth in the series continues the story of the lives of the characters we know and have come to love. Himself finally asks the question, a horse betting swindle of the local men by Bishop is foiled, and Barry's love life falls apart. The big surprise is his change of career plans. We read these books because its like visiting old friends--comfortable and fairly predictable-- not because they are exciting or great literarure. Perfect curl up book for a rainy day. less
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Another great read written by Patrick Taylor! I love his books! I have them all!
Love these books!
On Chapter 22
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