Ballybucklebo - even the name is slightly fantastical and brings to mind a quirky, eccentric vibe.
The year is coming to an end and the characters in this Irish village are facing tumult on several sides.
A fire in a cottage has put a family out of their home and the inhabitants of this village from the manor to the humble thatcher come forward to give their support in getting the family on its feet.
Then we have the strong division between the Protestant and Catholic faith. Not just division, but feelings of no common ground, very much understood by me as we face these divisions on a daily basis here.
Intermingled with the stories of just everyday life of doctors in a rural practice are the above underlying tensions. Add to this the subject of infertility, discussed in depth here and how it eats into a couple's otherwise blissful life and how it can erode a relationship so badly that only strength of will and character are enough to face this heart breaking issue head on.
So many subjects were discussed in such great detail, especially the religious divide and the brutality and viciousness of its hatred in Ireland that it was an eye opener for me in any case. On top of that the fertility issue, coupled with great discussions on the forbidden subject of contraception in a Catholic region for me was the best part of the book, over riding the actual story that was the book.
Beautifully written, very simplistic in its style, very evocative this was a great read.
Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Forge Books.