Sunday, March 28, 2010

Review: An Irish Country Girl by Patrick Taylor


This is the fourth book in the Irish Country series. I haven't read the previous three so I wasn't sure what to expect. The story starts out in Ballybucklebo in Ireland during 1964. It's Christmas day and Kinky Kincaid, housekeeper/cook to Dr.O'Reilly and Dr. Laverty is getting ready to cook dinner. A group of young children had been carolling outside and Kinky invites them in for hot drinks and a snack. While they are eating, she tells them a story of how she got the "sight" complete with banshees, faeries and the St. Stephen's Day ghost.

Those children must have had the patience of Job. The story rambled on and on for 105 pages at which point I was ready to give up. The author would have done more justice to the book by making this section a lot shorter with less rambling and more realistic. Honestly, what 8-11 year old uses the word suppurate?

When the kids leave, Kinky sits down for a bit of lunch and begins to reminisce about how she came to work for the doctors. This is when the story became very interesting. The time frame was during Kinky's mid to late teens and chronicles her school years, her desire to become a teacher and how she met her future husband, Paudeen Kincaid. It's also a most wonderful tale of the O'Hanlon family life. Kinky's sister Fidelma was as interesting a character as Kinky. Taylor managed to mentally transport me to Ireland and be part of the story.

This last two thirds of the book redeemed the whole thing for me. Once I got past the first section I was hesitant to put it down. Taylor includes a 20 page glossary at the end of the book with words that are used in the book. Also woven into the story, which I liked a lot, is how the unfamiliar Irish words are to be pronounced. I found these features to be most helpful. If the other three books are as good as the last part of this one, I will be willing to try another one. 3.5***

13 comments:

  1. sounds like this book was going to be a dud for you, but then it turned out ok after all...thanks for the great review.

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  2. Nice, I'm glad you enjoyed this one! I haven't heard of it before. And I love it when authors have glossaries in the back of the book - they're so useful!

    Emidy
    from Une Parole

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  3. I've had this series on my tbr list for a while. I'm glad you ended up enjoying the book. I can see why a pronunciation guide would be helpful. The spelling of many Irish words usually don't hint about the pronunciation, lol.

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  4. This book sounds good. I haven't heard about this series before.

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  5. Maybe Irish kids are smarter than American kids! LOL I'm glad to see the book picked up in the end for you.

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  6. The first part of your review made my heart whimper...and then you said it picked up I was so happy, as I have this book to read too!!!

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  7. I'm so glad the book redeemed itself! And reading 100 pages before it grabs you can be a chore. Great review! I hadn't heard of the series before either and will put it on my TBR list now!

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  8. I'm glad the book turned around for you Kaye. I'm not one who's willing to start a series in the middle. I either read them all or none. One of my reading quirks I guess.

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  9. I have seen these books around the blogging world recently, but up until then I hadn't heard of them. Glad to hear it got better.

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  10. I love this series and am glad to see you liked this one - I have heard it can stand alone. Hope you will go back and read some more about Ballybucklebo!

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  11. I'd rather have the first part be slow and then be redeemed rather than the other way around.

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  12. another one I have sitting around here, waiting to be read...hmmm, I am going to Ireland in November. Maybe I will take it with me.
    glad you liked it

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