Here’s the full review, from the September 15 issue:
The ninth book in the series that started with An Irish Country Doctor flashes back to a time before Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly became the medical mainstay in the village of Ballybucklebo. World War II has begun and Dr. Reilly is assigned the battleship HMS Warspite. Surgeon Lieutenant O’Reilly quickly learns the hardships of medicine at sea, tending to the thousand-man crew and casualties from other nearby ships. He serves under a seasoned naval doctor from whom he picks up much more than what was in his medical textbooks. He pines for his fiancée, midwife Deirdre Macwhinney, and has hopes of marrying her when he leaves the ship to attend a trauma medicine course in Scotland. In current-day Ballybucklebo, O’Reilly’s life has turned out quite differently. He treats the odd outbreak of measles, encounters an exotic Mediterranean virus, and delivers the local babies when the village midwife is too busy. Married to Kitty, his long-ago love (before Deirdre), O’Reilly has settled into the comfortable life of a small-town doctor. As in the previous O’Reilly books, the story deftly shifts back and forth from the present to the past, weaving depth and texture into the lives of Dr. and Mrs. O’Reilly and the villagers around them. VERDICT This is a charming addition to the delightful series by Ulster doctor-turned-novelist Taylor. Deeply steeped in Irish country life and meticulous in detail, the story is the perfect companion for a comfy fire and a cup of tea or a pint of bitter. Think James Herriott without the animals. A totally wonderful read!
An Irish Doctor in Peace and at War will be published on October 21.