In the last legs of this Presidential election season, we’re all due for a break, something that will take our minds off all the ugliness of the nightly news. If you can’t actually get away to the beautiful countryside of Ireland, perhaps you can get the next best thing: a (new) charming book (in a series of charming books) describing the life and times of a small town doctor in an Irish village in the 1960’s, called An Irish Country Love Story, by Patrick Taylor.
It may be wintertime of 1967 in the small northern Irish town of Ballybucklebo, the setting for this series of novels, and there may be snow on the ground and a chill in the air, but the warmth of the characters and the plots of this book aren’t affected at all by the weather. Our protagonist, Dr. Barry Laverty, having established his medical practice in the town, is now preparing to get married to Sue Nolan and start a new life together. Other storylines include the potential loss of the great estate that’s been a part of the village forever, a missing dog who’s being searched for desperately by the aging man who loves him, the difficulties a new doctor in the practice is having adjusting to the way the world works around here, and a crisis that might drive Dr. Laverty’s predecessor, the beloved Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly, from the home and office he’s had for most of his life, which has been the life’s blood of the community for decades. Will love conquer all, and if so, how?
If you’re a fan of the old All Creatures Great and Small series about the veterinarian in Yorkshire, England, and you’d like to spend time with an equally charming and quirky set of people and problems, you should definitely spend some time with Dr. Laverty and his peers in a small Irish town.