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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting to know Kinky better, January 15, 2010
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This review is from: An Irish Country Girl: A Novel (Irish Country Books) (Hardcover)
'An Irish Country Girl' is the 4th book in Patrick Taylor's "Irish Country" series. I strongly recommend reading the first three books first. 'An Irish Country Doctor', 'An Irish Country Village', and 'An Irish Country Christmas', in that order. You should really get to know Kinky Kincaid (the doctor's housekeeper) as the woman she is today, before taking this pause in the stories of Dr. O'Reilly and Dr. Laverty's adventures and misadventures as country doctors back in 1960's Ireland. 'An Irish Country Girl' takes a step away from the doctor's, and gives us the charming tale of Kinky's girlhood, growing up in County Cork before moving to upland County Ulster and settling into Ballybuckleboo. A few questions are answered here, especially Kinky's ability to be fey at times.

As Dr. Fingal Flahertie O'Reilly, Caitlin "Kitty" O'Hallorhan, and young Dr. Barry Laverty make their way out of the house on Christmas day to Ballybuckleboo House for the marquis' Christmas Day Open House, housekeeper Kinky Kincaid welcomes the visiting children with hot black current juice and sweet mince pies ... and the promise of a tale of ghosts and spirits. Therefore, Kinky begins, with a tale from her own youth.

She tells of Conner MacTaggart, and how he cuts down a Blackthorn tree, even after being warned by Kinky's mother that the "Doov Shee", or dark fairies, live under Blackthorns. Kinky, known as Maureen back then, knew her older sister Fidelma, was sweet on Conner and planning to marry him. The story isn't a happy one, as Conner angers the Doov Shee and the Queen of the Doov Shee takes her revenge. The children leave satisfied at Kinky's tale, but as Kinky continues to prepare the doctor's Christmas dinner, her thoughts continue to wander back to the time of her girlhood, Fidelma's loss of Conner, and how Kinky met her own young husband Paudeen.

It was great to get to know Kinky better, but as I said you'll want to introduce yourself to her in the first books. It's better to know where she is now first, before getting acquainted with her as a girl. There's a lot to the tale, and the book is a fast read just as the previous 'Irish Country' books are. There was a little slowing at the end, drawing out the finale, but that would be the only grouse over the story. Taylor has the ability to absorb you into his world, take you all the way to Ireland and really feel what it was like for Kinky during that timeframe in a sometimes volatile place. Reading about Kinky made me feel young again too! Taylor is a talented and knowledgeable writer, speeding you through the pages with fully fleshed characters that you find yourself caring a great deal about.

Included in the back of the book are some of Kinky's recipes and a glossary of the Irish terms used in the book. Now I can't wait for the next book, and get back to Dr's O'Reilly and Laverty with their busy medical practice and budding romances. Thank you, Mr. Taylor, for another great installment in 'Irish Country'.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 30, 2010 10:00:40 AM PST
Ooohh. This sounds like a pretty cool book! Nice review. . . .
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