Thursday, March 17, 2011

An Irish Country Girl - Patrick Taylor

Title: An Irish Country Girl
Author: Patrick Taylor
Hardcover: 292 pages
Publication Date: January 2010
FTC: Received from Forge Books for review

A while back I was asked if I wanted to read Patrick Taylor's latest book, An Irish Country Girl.  I have to say that I love all things Irish.  I even took an Irish history class in college.  I wish I had some smidgen of Irish in me, but no.  That's ok.  I've been to Dublin and can't wait to visit more of Ireland someday.  After all that, of course I had to say yes!

Patrick Taylor's series starts off with An Irish Country Doctor and I believe revolves around the doctor in the series.  You can check out his website for a complete listing of his books.  I was going to start of with An Irish Country Doctor and go through the series, but then I heard that An Irish Country Girl is sort of a stand alone book.  So I just started with this one.

I LOVED it.  Beautiful! 

Here's the story:

Kinky Kincaid is the housekeeper of two country doctors in the fictional Irish village of Ballybucklebo.  I'm thinking the main series takes place in Ireland in the 1960s.  But you know, I don't really think the time period is really important.  Anyway, as she's entertaining some young village children during Christmas, she tells them the tale of the Saint Stephen's Day Ghost.

What entails is Kinky's remembrance of her days as a young girl in County Cork, when she was known as Maureen O'Hanlon.  It's a beautiful and often bittersweet reminiscence of her sister's first true love who decided to not obey the warnings of her mother who had "the sight" and cut down a Blackthorn tree on November the eleventh.  The tale is full of spirits, Dubh Sidhe (doov shee or dark faeries), and even a Banshee.  The story goes on to tell of her own gift for with the sight and the story of her first love and her struggle over mysterious visions and wanting to be a teacher (something that didn't always sit well with being a married woman in those days).

I thought Patrick Taylor did an amazing job with Kinky's voice and depicting the beauty of the Irish country life.  I can't wait to read his other books in the series and am a bit disappointed that Kinky's tale is over and she'll be just a side character.  Or is she?  I'm just going to have to read the other books to find out.

Which brings me to the loveliness of the book itself.  Isn't the cover just gorgeous!  All the covers are like that.  I'd love a painting like these in my house.  Seriously, check out his website and look at the other covers.  There's also just awesome extras in the book.  Like the maps in the beginning.  He has them on his website as well.  There's also an large Glossary of Irish terms in the back which I loved.  Although really, he does such a great job of giving context that for a lot of them I didn't really need a glossary.  Also, the Afterward has some great books listed for more information on Irish mythology AND includes some of Kinky's recipes, like Potato Apple Fadge.  I love love when recipes are included.

Anyway, this was the perfect book to read around St Patrick's Day and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Have you read any of Patrick Taylor's books?

Also Reviewed by:

Pudgy Penguin Perusals

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