The most popular books today are often fantasy or science fiction. From the mythical creatures in Harry Potter and The Mortal Instruments to the dystopian societies featured in The Hunger Games and Divergent, exciting, strange worlds in these books are easy to get lost in.
Sometimes, though, it’s good to have a simple, no-frills book to read.
One of my favorite series, the Irish Country series by Patrick Taylor, is a good example of these types of books.
Set in the 1960s, the first book, An Irish Country Doctor, follows a young doctor, Barry Laverty, as he takes an apprenticeship at a general practitioner’s office in the fictional Northern Irish town of Ballybucklebo. His employer, Doctor Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly, is a tough, short-tempered man, which is seen during their first meeting. However, the two grow to like each other, as they tackle patients’ cases throughout the book.
While the series initially focuses on Doctor Laverty’s perspective, it shifts to focus on other characters too. Several books later on in the series are told from Doctor O’Reilly’s perspective and look into his past as a medical student, as well as a soldier in World War II. The housekeeper, Maureen “Kinky” Kincaid, has a book about her earlier years too.
In the series, we also get a look back at various historical events, including the Spanish Civil War, conflict between Catholics and Presbyterians, civil rights in America, and the rising fame of The Beatles and Rolling Stones.
Unfortunately, the period of time it’s set in also means there are some bigoted beliefs from a few characters. Some slight xenophobia is present in parts, as well as sexism about women doing what was thought of as men’s work. Depending on your beliefs, it may either not be a big deal to you, or turn you off from reading the series altogether.
As the main characters in the series are doctors, some parts also get a bit gory. If you have a hard time with mentions of things like blood, I would suggest reading at your own risk.
Overall, however, the Irish Country series is very good. There are eleven novels, two short stories, and a cookbook out. The next book will be available in October, which can give you enough time to get caught up on the series if you start as soon as possible.
If you’re into historical fiction, Irish culture, and medical science, the Irish Country series may be the next series for you!