An Irish Country Girl

Written by Patrick Taylor
Review by Maudeen Wachsmith

Patrick Taylor has created a delightful series set in the little town of Ballybucklebo, Northern Ireland, in the mid-1960s. An Irish Country Girl, the fourth book, takes readers from the picturesque village of Doctors O’Reilly and Laverty to Kinky Kincaid’s hometown in County Cork in the Republic of Ireland, where she was born Maureen O’Hanlon.

Readers may first be taken aback when they discover An Irish Country Girl has a different setting than the other books, but since they may have already come to know and love Kinky, the doctors’ cook and housekeeper, the disappointment will be short-lived. They will become completely enthralled with Kinky’s story and that of the wee folk, along with other Irish myths and legends. Although she may be a fiftyish housekeeper in the later books, Kinky led quite an interesting life alongside even more characters (some delightful; others not so much). As she tells her tale to the youth of Ballybucklebo, she reveals herself as a complex woman who has experienced both joy and sorrow. Down in County Cork, the faeries and even the evil Banshee reside alongside human folk. The spirit world is very much a part of everyday life.

Once again Taylor has written a tale that is as charming as they come, kind of a cross between the wonderful BBC series Ballykissangel and the movie Dancing at Lughnasa. Even though it will probably be more interesting to readers to have read the first three books, An Irish Country Girl is a magical read, and readers will certainly not be sorry that they’ve read all four.