Book 1 from the European continent is AN IRISH COUNTRY CHRISTMAS by Patrick Taylor
This book is the third is a series about two doctor’s in a small general practice outside Belfast. A newcomer to the practice in the last several months Dr. Barry Laverty is just now getting comfortable as the young junior partner to Doctor Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly in the cozy village of Ballybucklebo. The time is the mid 1960’s but their are times in the narrative that it seems more like the late ’50’s especially as Dr. Laverty bemoan’s the absence of the woman in his life.
The two Doctors live a very comfortable life, being looked after very well by an excellent housekeeper who takes care of almost their every need. Much more is done for these men that most wives would be able to accomplish. Laverty thinks that his girl friend should drop everything and run to his side since she now has a few free weeks, even though this is the first opportunity she has ever had to see life outside a small town, and away from drudgery. This does drag the story down a bit.
Other than that there is a wonderful sense of time and place in an era where people did look out for each other and know their neighbors as well as care about them. This was still not a time of plenty, but a time where people watched every penny, where there were some houses that Santa might have a hard time finding without help.
Over all a heart warming tale for the holiday reader.