As many of my readers know, my mother passed away this year. You may also know that my mother was from Ireland and her Irish heritage was a big part of her life. I’ve been enjoying a series of novels that I am sure my mother would have loved. I wish she was here today so that I could share them with her. With my commute to work, I often listen to books on CD. Oh how my mom would have enjoyed listening to these stories.
Often I go to my local public library and borrow books on CD and when I discover an author that is new to me, I devour every recording available. This is the case recently with the An Irish Country Doctor series of novels by Patrick Taylor. Here are just a few of the book covers from the series. There are currently 11 novels in the series and before long, I will enjoy them all.
My mom was raised on a farm in County Tipperary Ireland which is in the Republic of Ireland. Although the novels by Patrick Taylor take place for the most part in Northern Ireland in a village a short distance from Belfast, the description of the village and the folks that live there makes me think of my mom’s life in Ireland. In these novels the reader is transported to rural Ballybucklebo in County Down, Northern Ireland. No it is not a real village name but there are likely many villages like it and after reading these novels, I want to go there. County Down is a real place. It is one of six counties in Northern Ireland. Any one of the small villages in the county could be Ballybucklebo.
These aren’t ancient stories. The setting of the first novel, An Irish Country Doctor is 1964. Some of the novels flashback to an earlier time in one or more character’s lives but for the most part it is the mid 1960s. They are not stories in a vacuum either. While Patrick Taylor focuses on the people of this rural village, he also throws in a little Irish history as well as Irish and world current events happening at the time. Just a touch without turning the stories into political points of view.
Not being in the medical profession, I am fascinated by the way Patrick Taylor weaves the medical stories into his novels. You learn a few things without being overwhelmed and some of them are quite humorous.
My mom often referred to the Banshee but she never expounded too much about her. In An Irish Country Girl, I learned so much Irish folklore. This novel is 4th in the series and is one of the flashback stories I mentioned earlier. It takes place in County Cork, Ireland in the late 1920s.
If you are looking for stories that will thoroughly entertain you and you like to be transported when you read, I’ll use a phrase often used by one of the important characters. These stories will come on a treat for you.
Check out what Goodreads.com has to say about these novels. This link also lists them in order and I recommend reading them in order.
An interview with the author:
The Star of the County Down performed by the Irish Rovers and set to photographs of Ireland: