Thursday, December 29, 2011

Audiobook Review: An Irish Country Christmas

An Irish Country Christmas gives us a glimpse into the town of Ballybucklebo in Ireland as its residents prepare for Christmas. Drs. Barry Laverty and Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly treat the various ailments of the townspeople by doling out traditional medicine alongside a healthy serving of common sense advice and counseling. Of course there are a few dramas with the arrival of a new doctor in town and trouble in the romance department for the two doctors but overall this is a happy, feel good holiday story.

In this installment, favorite characters from the Irish Country series are back - Dr. Barry Laverty has settled into country life in Ballybucklebo and is constantly learning from his mentor, Fingal O’Reilly. Barry has the medical expertise down but he learns how to listen to and speak to his patients which is a much more subtle, but essential, skill in primary care. Curmudgeonly Dr. Fingal O’Reilly is still rough around the edges but we see him soften as he shows respect for his younger colleague, Dr. Laverty. He also shows his softer side as he organizes a scheme to provide money to a young single mother without the resources to buy Christmas gifts for her children. Kinky Kincaid, Barry and Fingal’s housekeeper, is steady as ever and she does more than just clean house - she really mothers the two bachelors and tells them some hard truths when necessary. If Barry and Fingal ever needed advice, it is this year as they each struggle with the women in their lives. Barry anxiously awaits Patricia’s return from England for Christmas but fears she has found someone else while at Cambridge. Fingal has reignited a relationship with Kitty and hopes he doesn’t lose her as he did many years ago.

This audiobook is narrated by John Keating whose Northern Ireland accent for the book is spot-on even thought it took a little while to get used to it. He does an excellent job of switching tone and pacing for the different characters so it was easy to differentiate between them. He even does a great job with Kinky Kincaid’s Cork accent.

An Irish Country Christmas perfectly fit the bill for me for a holiday read - it is cozy, heartwarming and light. The stars of the story are the townspeople - these diverse personalities add real color to the village and certainly make it a place I would love to spend a Christmas! If only life were as easy and pleasant as it is in Ballybucklebo!


  1. I bet the accent did take some getting used to. The book sounds charming!

  2. This sounds so cute. I'll put it on my list for next holiday season. Happy New Year, Colleen!

  3. I really liked this one in print. I wish my library had this series in audio - it would be fun to do a reread that way.