Well I liked this one more than the last two books which unfortunately were just back and forths between Fingal O"Reilly and when he met his first wife and lost her during the war. I think that Taylor should have just had one book looking book at his time and not having it go back and forth between present day and past. "An Irish Country Love Story" is the 11th book in this series, and it showcases the different stages of love that Taylor wishes to show in the villagers of Ballybucklebo, between O"Reilly and his wife Kitty, between Barry and Sue Nolan, and even a dangerous sort of love (flirtation) between Barry and the new doctor that has been brought into the practice, Nonie. We even have a new love starting between O'Reilly's brother Lars and the Marquiis's sister Myrna.
The book goes back to the setup of the earlier ones in the series with some focus being on O'Reilly and Barry. We get both of their third person POV's in this book.
O'Reilly is a content married man now, but I am leery about O'Reilly thinking more about how to get Kitty to retire to work with him at a futuristic practice that would include many doctors and specialists. This book takes place in the winter of 1967 so I don't even know if that would be something that would even be thought of in Ireland at the time.
The big plot point with O'Reilly in this book is the fact he may lose Number 1 (his home) after a lorry runs into his dining room. It seems that if the village allows the house to stay, they will rack up taxes if they build another road that will take the lorries and other heavier vehicles away from the village center. O'Reilly has another nemesis we have not heard about until this point, who is on the village council who wants to do whatever he can to make sure O'Reilly loses his home. Not going to lie, this whole thing was boring, and O'Reilly was being high handed with the Marquis and others. Eventually things are resolved, but it didn't make much sense to me so there you go.
Barry is dealing with his fiancee Sue off doing a course in France for a couple of weeks. Barry being Barry at this point frets about things, but goes forward with trying to find a home for the two of them. A setback in Sue's family pushes the wedding date out, and I think Taylor was trying to make a conflict between Sue and Barry. All of a sudden Barry is concerned about having children and doesn't know if he wants them. How do you not have this conversation prior to marrying? Also it just reads as a roadblock that Taylor throws up to have some conflict in the book because the series is a bit samey at this point.
Another point of conflict is the new doctor who apparently is all for having some "fun" with Barry. It was weird and vaguely upsetting since she didn't seem to care about Barry's fiancee Sue, who she had to have met at this point. I didn't like the new doctor and then Taylor manufactures a crisis with her. I hope she goes by the next book.
The villagers are the villagers. Nothing much there at all to see.
The writing is okay, but Taylor now just spits out medical facts as a patient is being treated. And the doctors continue to over explain things and it makes my eyes glaze. The flow was okay, I just have to say like many readers, this may have been a solid read, but ultimately boring.
The setting of Ballybucklebo remains a favorite to me at least. I still re-read "An Irish Country Girl" and "An Irish Country Christmas" every year to get me in the holiday mood during Halloween and Christmas.
The ending was okay. I do think that maybe Taylor should consider ending this series and skipping forward with Barry and Sue married with kids and O'Reilly looking to fully retire or something.