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I enjoyed the Irish Doctor series and thought it was finished a number of years ago. I was pleasantly surprised to discover it is still on going. This book is the first one out after I had stop reading the series.
In this book the author flashes back and forth between the past and present of O’Reilly’s life. Taylor goes back to O’Reilly’s early days just after graduating from medical school. In 1936, he goes to work in the Dublin tenements in a street dispensary (medical clinic). It is here we meet nurse Kitty O’Halloran as they are dating.
Then Taylor flashed forward to when Kitty and Fingal are married and he is a senior partner in a practice in Ballybucklebo in Northern Ireland. O’Reilly has hired a woman physician and some of the patients are balking at seeing a woman. If I remember from the other books, the series ranges in time from late 1920s to late 1950s. I found the section where O’Reilly is participating in a research project with sulfur drugs most interesting.
The book is well written. The characters are unforgettable and Fingal is getting grumpy as he ages. The house keeper Kinky is a delight. The book is ideal for an audio book because of the various Irish accents and words.
I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. The book is almost seventeen hours long. John Keating does a superb job narrating the book. Keating is an actor and an award -winning audiobook narrator.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
I never grow tired of the books by Patrick Taylor, and narrated by John Keating, about Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly, the sometimes crusty, often surprisingly kind old doctor who takes care of a delightful group of villagers in Ballybucklebo. He began his career in the poorest area of Dublin, where he met the nurse Kitty O'Halloran, whom he loves but does not marry for the next 30 years.
I cherish the stories that Taylor weaves in and out of his books--and this one gives us a look at the newly married O'Reillys, with contrasting flashbacks between the village where he practices now (at the time of this story--which I think is in the 1960's) and the earlier time in Dublin. If you have listened to all the books up till now, you will feel as though the characters are people you would love living amongst. Taylor's gift is to give what feels like wonderfully thorough depictions of the deep humanness of those who move in and out of these stories--with all their idiosyncrasies and quirks.
Although this is (I think) the 8th book in the series--and it might help to have listened to others, it is not necessary. Each stands alone very well--and I might add, that even within the books themselves, different stories move in and out so that this whole series is somewhat a collection of vignettes about the movements (and ailments) of people who become (or usually remain) very much alive on the pages of his stories. I always feel I have been drawn into the tales in a very satisfying manner.
I have read a couple of reviews that suggest this book is not quite up to the standard of past ones. I don't know--maybe there is some truth to that, but I still love it as much as every past book--and I hope there are many more in the pipeline for readers (listeners) who love them. And I have never read one of these in paper form--so to me, John Keating *is* Dr. O'Reilly and all the others. I doubt I would want to read them, so much do I enjoy his narration!
9 of 10 people found this review helpful