Taylor applied the Page 69 Test to the novel and reported the following:
From Page 69:Learn more about the book and author at Patrick Taylor's website.She (Kinky) pointed to some framed faded sepia photos. “Those ones are my family and that one is the County Cork camogie team. That’s me, the thin one on the left.” She shook her head. “Long, long ago now.” She smiled and said, “But those dried flowers in their circular frames, I did pick them fresh in the soft springs and warm summers here in Ballybucklebo and preserved them. I embroidered the samplers when the winter nights were bitter, and the gales howling through the village, but I was snug at my own hearth side here.”This segment of page 69 is indeed representative of one half of the new An Irish Doctor in Peace and at War novel describing as it does everyday social and medical events in the 1966 lives of four of the central characters who will be well known to regular readers who wish to follow the doings in Ballybucklebo. The recently married Kinky Kincaid, Doctor O’Reilly’s housekeeper of twenty plus years is moving out to her new home and Doctor Barry Laverty will be moving into her old quarters at Number One, Main Street, Ballybucklebo.
“What’s that one,” Barry asked. “I don’t have the Gaelic.”
She smiled. “It’s called Pangur Bán. It’s a poem written by an Irish monk in the ninth century to his white cat. I did it when Doctor O’Reilly got Lady Macbeth.” She took it down and offered it to O’Reilly. “I’d like for you and Kitty and her ladyship to have this as a memory of me here in this house.”
O’Reilly glanced at Kitty who was smiling and nodding. “Thank you, Kinky,” he said. May I leave it on the wall right here where it’s been these past two years so there’ll always be a memento of Kinky Kincaid in what was her old home and Barry can see it too?”
“I’d like that very much,” Barry said.
“I do think,” she said, “that would be a very fitting thing, so.”
Kitty leant over and kissed Kinky’s cheek. “Thank you so much, Kinky. For everything.”
And for a moment no one spoke.
It is not representative of the other half of the book. That is set in 1939 and 1940 and is the story of young Doctor Fingal O’Reilly getting engaged to the woman, Deirdre Mawhinney, who will become his first wife in the sequel to be published in 2015. The onset of WWII in September 1939 results in O’Reilly being called up for service on the battleship HMS Warspite, interrupting his wedding plans and seeing him involved in Atlantic convoys, the battle of Narvik, and being stationed in Alexandria, Egypt whence Warspite does battle off Calabria, suffers air raids, and O’Reilly is seconded for a short time to a destroyer. His shore life in Alex, where the reader will smell the scents of the east, see the busting cosmopolitan city, taste the exotic cooking, puts him in the way of a brother officer’s seductive wife.
Both stories are intertwined and by book’s end the reader will have learned a great deal more about the early influences which shaped the redoubtable Doctor Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly.
My Book, The Movie: An Irish Doctor in Peace and at War.