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Cheesy US debut about a collection of misfits and losers who come together on a magical dairy farm in Ireland.

Lynch must have watched too many reruns of The Quiet Man and Waking Ned Devine for her own good, for she seems to have re-created the same nauseatingly enchanted Ireland that was inhabited by both of those high-fructose films. Basically, everything here revolves around Coolarney House, a dairy farm outside of Cork. Run by two old codgers named Corrie and Fee, Coolarney House produces the finest cheeses in Ireland, possibly the world (their Princess Grace Memorial Blue is particularly famed). One of the secrets of the Coolarney cheeses is that the cows are milked by vegetarians singing Rogers and Hammerstein songs. Naturally, Corrie and Fee have to scout afield for musical, meatless milkmaids and keep them happy once they find them, so Coolarney House soon acquires a reputation among its neighbors as a kind of commune of happy cranks. So much the better for Christopher “Kit” Stephens and Abbey Corrigan, both simultaneously hitting bedrock at opposite ends of the globe. Kit (a recently widowed stockbroker who has taken to the bottle hard since his wife and baby died six months before) has just been fired, while Abbey (a childless relief worker wasting her efforts on a South Seas island where the natives don’t want her help) has just found out that her jerk of a husband has been cheating on her. So off to Ireland both go, hoping to put life back together with some fresh air, fresh dairy, honest toil, and more than a bit of blarney. Naturally, neither knows the first thing about farming, but Coolarney House is, as we say, used to all sorts. There’s sure to be a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow.

Amusing in a Green Acres kind of way, but far too cute for comfort overall.

Pub Date: July 2nd, 2003
ISBN: 0-446-53128-6
Page count: 320pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2003


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