Call the Nurse: True Stories of a Country Nurse on a Scottish Isle
Mary J. McLeod
Arcade, 2013 (2013)
Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth
ary J. McLeod and her husband tired of the hustle and bustle, as well as the noise of life near London and longed for a more sedate pace. While vacationing on a remote island in the Scottish Hebrides, they realized that this was where they wanted to live.
acking up their belongings, they arrived at a derelict stone cottage that needed '
a bit of renovating
', to put it kindly. Daunted but determined, they made their home with their children and lived a very different life.
he islanders called her Mary J. and welcomed her and her family immediately. So began the lifestyle they had envisioned. Many of what we would call modern conveniences were lacking, but the warmth
of their welcome made their choice feel very much the right one. Life was harsh, though, contending with terrible weather.
he author tells stories of the islanders – not just of their health problems – but also the way all on the island pitched in when help was needed. The small village became like a large family to the newcomers. And all would blend together no matter the circumstances. When problems arose, the villagers would appear as though by magic to help.
he island culture had to be catered to. McLeod tells how she dealt with that and other myriad problems peculiar to that particular location. It had to take great fortitude to live in such a remote place far from the mainland. And with a capricious sea to cross when emergencies arose.
all the Nurse
is the story of indomitable people who live by their own codes in a harsh land - and thrive.
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