NorthBarry Laverty, MD, can barely find the village of Ballybucklebo on a map when he first sets out to seek gainful employment there, but already he knows that there is nowhere he would rather live than in the emerald hills and dales of Northern Ireland. The proud owner of a spanking-new medical degree, Barry jumps at the chance to secure a position as an assistant in a small rural practice. At least until he meets Dr. Fingal Flahertie OReilly. The older physician, whose motto is never let the patients get the upper hand, has his own way of doing things, which definitely takes some getting used to. At first, Barry can't decide if the pugnacious O'Reilly is the biggest charlatan he has ever met, or possibly the best teacher he could ever hope for. Ballybucklebo is a long way from Belfast, and Barry soon discovers that he still has a lot to learn about country life. But if he sticks with it, he just might end up finding out more about life and love than he could ever have imagined back in medical school. At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
A straitlaced novice doctor gets initiated into the unorthodox world of a crafty rural sawbones in Taylor's American debut. Barry Laverty is fresh out of school and uncertain about what type of medicine he should practice when he answers an ad for a physician's assistant in Ballybucklebo, a small Northern Ireland town populated, it seems, entirely by eccentrics. Laverty is initially taken aback by his new boss, Fingal Flahertie O'Reilly, whom he meets as O'Reilly is literally throwing a patient out of his office. Laverty spends most of the novel swaying between understanding O'Reilly's methods and second-guessing the boxer turned doctor who dishes out plenty of placebos and isn't above telling a white lie or a crude joke to worried patients. Though Laverty often comes across as painfully uptight, he also has an endearing-for-its-awkwardness streak that only surfaces around Patricia Spence, though she'd rather focus on her civil engineering studies than make time for a boyfriend. Serving as a foil to all the innocent fun is the lecherous, greedy Councillor Bishop, who, thanks to a scheming O'Reilly and a reluctant Laverty, gets his comeuppance. Despite the occasional whimsy overload, Taylor's novel makes for escapist, delightful fun. (Feb.)
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February 06, 2007
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