Only Wounded: Stories of Irish Troubles

Written by Patrick Taylor
Review by John Kachuba

It seems fitting that this book, a collection of connected short stories, is written by a physician, since it deals with both the physical and psychological wounds inflicted upon all Irishmen during Northern Ireland’s “troubles” between Catholic and Protestant citizens.

Taylor, a New York Times bestselling author, tells the story of the religious wars between the two factions not in terms of the governments (Irish Republic, Northern Ireland, and Great Britain) involved, or their politics, but brings the violence down to a personal level. The reader learns of innocent citizens, walking with their children, shopping, or loitering in a favorite pub, whose lives are suddenly snuffed out by indiscriminate bombs. There are stories of young British soldiers caught in peacekeeping duties and despised by Catholics and Protestants alike. And always there are the idealistic young men who commit murder in the name of patriotism and are indelibly scarred forever by their actions.

Throughout the collection are several stories relating the strong friendship between Pat and Neil, Catholic and Protestant, which offer a glimmer of hope for the future of a Northern Ireland in which all people, regardless of their religion, can live in peace.

This book is highly recommended.