An Irish Doctor in Love and at Sea

Written by Patrick Taylor
Review by Linda Harris Sittig

Fans of Patrick Taylor’s highly entertaining Irish Country Doctor series will not be disappointed with this latest book. The novel is told in alternating chapters of Dr. O’Reilly’s present life and medical practice, versus his experience as a WWII naval surgeon. As the reader goes back and forth in time, the quaint village of Ballybucklebo in Northern Ireland springs back to life with its familiar surroundings and characters, and lovable animals such as Arthur Guinness, O’Reilly’s faithful Labrador.

In the present day, Dr. O’Reilly and his wife Kitty are preparing to attend his thirty-year medical school reunion. As they get ready for the festivities in Dublin memories of his war time years begin to resurface and fill him with a wistfulness of days gone by, and friends and love lost in war. In those memories we learn the story of his first wife, Deirdre and the severely injured men he treated while stationed on the HMS Warspite.

The charming characters that have anchored the previous books return, bringing a feeling of authenticity to Ballybucklebo and the life of an Irish country doctor. Told through both real and fictional events, the novel moves swiftly along to a satisfying conclusion and leaves the reader hoping that Taylor will continue with yet another book.