An Irish Country Yuletide (Irish Country Books, 16)

Written by Patrick Taylor
Review by Bonnie DeMoss

This lovely Christmas novella takes us back to the fictional village of Balleybucklebo in Northern Ireland, 1965. Doctor Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly is set to spend Christmas with his wife, Kitty, colleague Barry Laverty, and other friends and neighbors, but sadness, illness, and division threaten to ruin the holiday. This is Book 16 in the Irish Country Doctor series. Although it can be read as a standalone, I would recommend reading the whole series.

I truly enjoyed the village of Balleybucklebo and its residents. The Christmas season arrives, along with a chickenpox epidemic, and the doctors are busier than ever. We are transported almost immediately to wonderful Christmas traditions, including caroling, tree trimming, Christmas Mass, gift exchanges, and delectable treats. We are also given a little bit of Irish folklore and legend during the story. While there is some sadness and hard news in this book, there is also faith and joy. The doctor’s quiet assistance to his fellow villagers is more than just medical, and his housekeeper, Maureen Kincaid (Kinky), who is “fey,” or “gifted with the sight,” is dependably on hand to provide insight and delicious food. As always, there is a selection of recipes at the end.

Longtime fans of this series will be overjoyed to visit Balleybucklebo once again at Christmas. New readers will want to learn more about this town and its people. Highly recommended for anyone who loves Christmas stories and/or Irish historical fiction.