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Publisher's Summary

Long before Doctor Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly became a fixture in the colourful Irish village of Ballybucklebo, he was a young M.B. with plans to marry midwife Dierdre Mawhinney. Those plans were complicated by the outbreak of World War II and the call of duty. Assigned to the HMS Warspite, a formidable 30,000-ton battleship, Surgeon Lieutenant O’Reilly soon found himself face-to-face with the hardships of war, tending to the dreadnought’s crew of 1,200 as well as to the many casualties brought aboard. Life in Ballybuckebo is a far cry from the strife of war, but over two decades later O’Reilly and his younger colleagues still have plenty of challenges: an outbreak of German measles, the odd tropical disease, a hard-fought pie-baking contest, and a local man whose mule-headed adherence to tradition is standing in the way of his son’s future. Now older and wiser, O’Reilly has prescriptions for whatever ails...until a secret from the past threatens to unravel his own peace of mind. Shifting deftly between two very different eras, Patrick Taylor’s latest Irish Country novel reveals more about O’Reilly’s tumultuous past, even as Ballybucklebo faces the future in its own singular fashion.

©2014 Ballybucklebo Stories Corp (P)2014 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • Claremont Meadows, Australia
  • 03-23-15

Thoroughly enjoyable

It filled in the war years of Dr Fingal and his coming back married to Kitty.
A disappointing note is that we should have been advised that it should come after Fingal O'Reilly Irish Doctor. Unfortunately I listened to the book and wish I'd realised it was out of sequence in the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great deeper into life on a warship WWII

A great adventure with Fingal during his first year in battles as some in the British Royal Navy from the historically famous HMS WarSpite. This artfully crafted to progressively teach basic naval terms and tactics in the north Seas throughout the first half then into a major all out naval battle in the Mediterranean. Also, as in other books, the "current" year in the 1960s in the village of ballybucklebo is woven throughout the book. One gets a sense of just pre war and start of war as it was impacting lives in both northern Oreland and the Republic of Ireland during the flashbacks. Simultaneously a small foreshadowing of the outbreak of fighting to come later in the century to the wee North.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 06-02-17

Engaging

This is book nine in the Irish Doctor series. It is best to read this series in order as Taylor builds the next story on the past one. In this book Taylor flashes back and forth between Northern Ireland in the 1960s and the Wartime travails of 1939 to 1945 at home and at sea. Dr. Fingal O’Reilly served in the Royal Navy during World War Two. The author tells of O’Reilly’s wartime courtship of his wife, Deirdre. Deirdre was a nurse midwife in training when they met.

I found the part of the story about O’Reilly’s service on HMS Warspite most interesting. Taylor tells of HMS Warspite’s action in the Battle of West Fjord in Norway and later off Italy. Then he covers HMS Warspite’s in time in Alexandria, Egypt. O’Reilly was a medical officer on the Warspite.

The book opens in the 1960s with housekeeper Kinky’s wedding. Young Barry Laverty is back in Ballybucklebo and medical student Jenny is helping out for the summer.

The book is well written and researched. I really enjoyed the various Irish accents, the humor and the pithy insights. In this book, aboard HMS Warspite there is a wide variety of accents from Scottish to Cockney. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

The book is thirteen and a half hours long. John Keating does a fantastic job narrating the book. This series works best as an audiobook because Keating does such a great job with all the various accents and the pronunciations of the Irish words. Keating has narrated the series from the beginning. Keating is an Irish actor and award-winning audiobook narrator.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • Seattle, WA USA
  • 02-14-15

Always outstanding

Being Of Irish dissent as well as being in medicine I truly enjoy Dr.Patrick Taylor's gifted writings.mr. Keating's narration it's phenomenal bring so much more pleasure to these books.I am listen to all of them and I am always anticipating the next one. I can say without a doubt that Dr. Patrick Taylor it's my favorite writer. What a winning combination we have between his gifts and Mr. Keating's gifts thank you so very much.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

amazing series

Patrick Taylor's story with John Keaton as narrator is a great duo. I'm addicted to the series. it isn't a super dramatic storyline. it is just clean and fun and well written. I can't even imagine reading the book in lieu of audio book because the narrator has set the voices so well in my mind.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love This Series

Very enjoyable continuation of the series - storyline, characters and narration continue to be pleasing!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great Authentic Irish

Narrator was authentic and well done, couldn't wait to get to next chapter. Story great although a little over done on descriptions, but did serve purpose well of picturing settings.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Want my money back

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The story was extremely boring

Would you ever listen to anything by Patrick Taylor again?

I love Patrick Taylor and have listened to this entire series but this book was so incredibly dull and not like any of the others.

What about John Keating’s performance did you like?

John Keating's voice is fantastic and he makes the Country Doctor series an enjoyable listen.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The narrator was the only redeeming quality.

Any additional comments?

Patrick Taylor is an incredible and entertaining author however this book was not like the others in the series. It really was dull and it dragged on way too long.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A bit angsty

Would you try another book from Patrick Taylor and/or John Keating?

I have very much enjoyed all the other books in this series. This is the first one that I rated only 3 of 5. There was a long angst-y section in the middle that seemed rather out of character for Fingol, and I just felt was overdone. At least twice I said out loud, "I got it! Move on!" But it was not horrible, it just didn't live up to the high standards of the earlier books.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Cut out all 90% of the painful introspection.

What about John Keating’s performance did you like?

Great, as usual

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What an perfect switch between war and peace!

What made the experience of listening to An Irish Doctor in Peace and at War the most enjoyable?

What a great book! I liked the switch of stories between the experience Fingal had on his ship during the war and back in his present days. It is easy to figure out whether you will hear the war time or the present time stories. The description of events on the ship in battle is very well done, without being too awful, but you can feel the pain, fear, anger, etc. it must have caused to experience and survive on a ship under attack. The daily stories of his little village are entertaining as usual. And there is not only sunshine for Fingal, as Kitty has something to tell him from her past...

What was one of the most memorable moments of An Irish Doctor in Peace and at War?

The description of Fingal's thoughts about war in general, and how to treat all patients the same regardless of their nationality. Even when he had to operate a wounded man of the "other" side, he made no difference.

Have you listened to any of John Keating’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have listened to all other "An Irish Country Doctor" audiobooks, and John Keating's performance is always at its best!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When he was thinking of his fiancé who was far away, and who helped him cope with his war experiences.

Any additional comments?

Interesting that quite a few people did not like the switch between the years, although this is not a new concept and is used in books and films all the time. I found it very well done, as there was always something in Fingal's life that triggered his memories. It makes him even more human and alive as he already is and gives more depth to the story.