Saturday, June 1, 2013

Call The Nurse: Tales of a Country Nurse on a Scottish Isle

I received this book from Skyhorse Publishing all thoughts and opinions are my own. ;)

Description: Tired of the pace and noise of life near London and longing for a better place to raise their young children, Mary J. MacLeod and her husband encountered their dream while vacationing on a remote island in the Scottish Hebrides. Enthralled by its windswept beauty, they soon were the proud owners of a near-derelict croft house--a farmer's stone cottage--on "a small acre" of land. Mary assumed duties as the island's district nurse. Call the Nurse is her account of the enchanted years she and her family spent there, coming to know its folk as both patients and friends.

In anecdotes that are by turns funny, sad, moving, and tragic, she recalls them all, the crofters and their laird, the boatmen and tradesmen, young lovers and forbidding churchmen. Against the old-fashioned island culture and the grandeur of mountain and sea unfold indelible stories: a young woman carried through snow for airlift to the hospital; a rescue by boat; the marriage of a gentle giant and the island beauty; a ghostly encounter; the shocking discovery of a woman in chains; the flames of a heather fire at night; an unexploded bomb from World War II; and the joyful, tipsy celebration of a ceilidh. Gaelic fortitude meets a nurse's compassion in these wonderful true stories from rural Scotland.

When I got the email describing the book I thought," hmm, that sounds like an adventure I'd like to read about," and I was not disappointed.  Mary sweetly describes her early years on the island of Papavray (name changed).  It's fascinating to hear about the very primitive conditions and camaraderie that the islanders have with one another.  Her writing made me want to sit down and have a 'cuppie' with her and talk about more of her adventures.

It's a definite cozy memoir that is told like you are sitting down with your grandma and she is telling you about her life.  It describes island life more so than in depth nursing adventures but Mary seemed to do a lot of non-typical nursing duties in her time on the island.  She briefly mentions fixing up their dump of a house (which had no bathroom when they got it!), but I'd have loved to hear more about how it ended up being in the end. 

A very sweet read and I'd love to hear more of her stories!

Have you read any memoirs recently?

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