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An Irish Country Christmas: A Novel (Irish Country Books, 3) Mass Market Paperback – Illustrated, November 2, 2010
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Frequently bought together
“One part A.J. Cronin's 1920s Dr. Finlay, one part Jame Herriot's 1930s veterinarians, one part Jan Karon's Mitford series, and one part BBC-TV's Ballykissangel.” ―The Detroit News on An Irish Country Christmas
“Full of stories and vivid characters, the novel recalls a good night in a pub. Its greatest charm lies in homey Ulster idioms. . . . Good, light entertainment.” ―Booklist on Irish Country Village
“Highly readable.” ―Publishers Weekly on An Irish Country Doctor
“This book is written with compassion and hilarity about a community whose inhabitants are as wonderful and loony as any on earth.” ―Malachy McCourt, New York Times bestselling author on An Irish Country Doctor
About the Author
- ASIN : 0765366851
- Publisher : Forge Books; Illustrated edition (November 2, 2010)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 672 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780765366856
- ISBN-13 : 978-0765366856
- Item Weight : 10.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.28 x 1.04 x 6.78 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #866,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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That said, there were certainly many enjoyable moments. Also interesting were the two, shifting POVs between Barry and Fingal. The previous books were mainly told through Barry's POV. It was a nice switch, especially as Fingal grows more serious about Kitty and the reader is now privy to his inner thoughts and feelings.
This was the first time I didn't like Barry in spots. I understand why he was upset with Patricia, but a little disappointing that he would so quickly consider being unfaithful. Why is it as soon as a man falls in love with a woman, he then wants to change her? Guess what? Once she changes, she won't be the girl he fell in love with (and, yes I know, some women are guilty of this, too). Despite the happy ending, something tells me we haven't seen the last of the schoolteacher.
I liked learning about all the Irish and Ulster Christmas traditions. The tradition of sending the letters to Santa up the chimney reminded me of my niece when she was young. She had a Barney Christmas video where he sent his letter to the North Pole on a gust of wind. That year my niece was determined to do the same. When she let go of the paper, my sister distracted her while I ran to grab the list before it could blow away. (You see, she didn't let us look at what she had written before sending it. Ha ha!)
Other than the professional, we find our men in the throes of romantic quandaries as well. Barry's girl, Patricia, who has embarked on a three year course of study in far off Cambridge, England appears to be quite engrossed in her new studies, her new friends and the offerings of an academic town and its proximity to London, where even more cultural and social opportunities exist. She seems less than Barry would hope in keeping her promise to return to Ireland for Christmas. This worries Barry that there may be another man and he wonders if he should perhaps think about finding a new interest, such as the young teacher in town. He is heart-sore and anguished, believing Patricia is the one and she, perhaps, not feeling the same about him.
Fingal, on the other hand, long a widower, who is still deeply in love with Dierdre, finds himself wondering if he should take up the pretty clear offer of a second chance with Caitlin O'Halloran, the love of his student days. He'd been dating when he met Dierdre and she, Kitty, had never married. Now, she is back in his life and he is enjoying her company. Should he commit more deeply? Is it time to move on?
Lastly, there are all the community dos--the big pageant where the children reenact the Christmas story--I laughed out loud for several minutes as that rolled out before my mind's eye! O' Reilly plays Santa passing out gifts to each of Ballybucklebo's chisellers. ( My Dad used that term for us kids and I never understood it. I couldn't figure out how we had chiselled anything. Through these stories I realize it is an Irish expression for kids! He must have gotten it from his Irish born mother, who died before I was born.) And the marvelous Kinky, Mrs Kinkaid, provides some of the food on the baquet tables.
Not to be forgotten, there are the two more fancy gatherings--party at Ballybucklebo House, home of the local Marquis and the party at the Councillor's, Bertie and Flo Bishops. These on Christmas morning after roast goose and Midnight Mass the night before. All culminates with Christmas dinner at One Main, where Kinky presents a roast turkey, a roast ham and all the fixings. No wonder Fingal needed his Santa pants let out and Kinky tried, to no avail to put him on a diet before all the holiday feast began.
And so, the year of 1964 is coming to an end for our friends. The Canadians have a new flag--the maple leaf--I remember when that happened. Catholic Masses would soon be said in the vernacular--a decision I always hated-loving the elegance of the Latin Mass. What will 1965 bring for them? I cannot wait to see in the next installment of Patrick Taylor's wonderful series.
Top reviews from other countries
We know County Down,having lived there and this tale is one of enchantment for us,having experienced the warmth and glow of many good Irish Christmasses