One of the series I’ve been really into lately is the Irish Country Novel series by Patrick Taylor. If anyone is bowled over by a picturesque small-town in Northern Ireland, a handful of colourful characters entangled in endearingly quirky scenarios and a lovable, charming, bear of a hero by the name of Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly at the centre of all the mayhem, then these books are for you.
Taylor, a retired MD living in British Columbia, Canada, reflects his own experiences of studying and practicing Medicine through the protagonist, country G.P Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly, against the back drop of a changing Ireland from the 1930’s to the 1970s. I love this series for several reasons.
Firstly, as an M.D myself who is enthusiastically trying to pursue a career in Family Medicine, these books sum up all that I love about this specialty. The ability to get to know your patients as people and taking an interest not just in their healthcare, but in their families, interest, jobs, hobbies and their lives. Taylor captures the genuine care and concern Family Physicians have for patients and beautifully illustrates how that care extends to all facets of a patient’s life and makes a positive difference in life.
Secondly, I am a huge fan of the small-town setting (Yes, I am a Gilmore Girls, Murder She Wrote and Doc Martin fan!). I love the familiarity, the closeness and the neighbourly kindness that small towns exude and, again, Taylor invites you into the homes and lives of the residents of Ballybucklebo with a sense of warmth, heart, sometimes a little solemnity and loads of mischief that you a page-a-night turns into a-chapter-a-night kind of reading. My cup of tea.
And lastly, apart from the daily on-goings of the village that Dr. O’Reilly deals with, Taylor manages to weave some of Ireland’s most significant historical and sociopolitical history into O’Reilly’s own personal story, making the rich history of Ireland come to life before your eyes. While reading An Irish Doctor At Peace and War, I got a very vivid description of what it felt like to be apart of the Irish contribution to the Allied Forces in World War II. The first-hand accounts make the war understandable, relatable and very very human.
Overall, I love the Irish Country Novel series, and I am just so inspired by the author Patrick Taylor, who embodies both my dream jobs as physician and author, and creates such an entertaining and mesmerizing series.
I whole-heartedly recommend these books to everyone 🙂