Not too much to say. This one was just boring. There's some slight tension because of a new character who just disappears into the ether. Taylor really needs to stay in the present day in his books. Him jumping back a few years to show Barry on rotation was not needed and was boring. I don't know how much longer these books can go. This used to be one of my favorite series because Taylor actually didn't just have happily ever after endings for people all of the time. These books usually surround a big problem in the village that O'Reilly really doesn't need to get involved with and then it's solved in like 5 chapters while we readers get flashback scenes that no one asked for. Here's hoping the next one self corrects.
"An Irish Country Family" deals a bit with the Troubles in Ireland (it's 1969) and with Barry and Sue trying and failing to get pregnant. Taylor also has Doctor O'Reilly dealing with a new arrival to Ballybucklebo who seems focused on preventing the village into making a nearby location into a place for men and women to listen to music and dance. Taylor also has readers following Barry back a few years prior to the start of "An Irish Country Doctor" to watch him during his medical rotation.
The characters are the same in this one really. We have Barry and Sue both getting frustrated that she can't get pregnant. I liked that Taylor had them discussing adoption, but you know that flamed out quickly.
O'Reilly still wants Kitty to retire but apparently he's not going to? I don't know, that whole plot-line needs to be dropped. It's annoying. Also I wonder why everyone goes to O'Reilly about things they can do without him. We had the whole surprise that took forever to unfold. We had the Marquis asking O'Reilly to accompany him when he honestly didn't need him.
I loathed the newcomer to the village and once again we have a man that does something horrible to a woman and it's just ignored? I don't know what to say here. It's a weird choice.
The writing was just okay in this one. I think I just got frustrated because the book seem to be moving at a glacial pace. Seeing the dates in the chapter headings made me feel impatient.
The flow of the book was off. Why Taylor decided to show Barry 6 years in the past made zero sense. Thankfully his chapters were short, however, they were not necessary. I hope this is the last flashback of his we get. Taylor kept doing this with O'Reilly and it soon wore out its welcome for me as a reader.
With regards to the setting, I think it's weird that Taylor wants to have Ballybucklebo be this perfect place in Ireland where Catholics and Protestants get together. There are some mentions of the fighting going on, but that's it. It's a weird choice and I don't know if he will ever get into more details or what in the series.
The book ends on a happy note, but also I had some confusion about things since we hear about a character who is moving but it's not mentioned before and I went wait what and then decided to move on because I didn't care a whit.
I still say "An Irish Country Girl" is the best book in this series. Taylor would do better to write more like that instead of the mismash between characters and past and present that isn't really working that well anymore.