The Country Nurse Remembers
True Stories of a Troubled Childhood, War, and Becoming a Nurse (The Country Nurse Series, Book Three)
Mary J. MacLeod
- 360 Pages
- February 11, 2020
- ISBN: 9781950691296
- Trim Size: 5.5in x 8.25in
From the Bestselling Author of Call the Nurse and Nurse, Come You Here!, the Moving Story of Her Young Life and Her Path to Independence through Training to Be a Nurse.
Mary MacLeod's mother died in childbirth when Mary was five, an event that marked for the child a "before time"—a lost joyful time—and after. She was shunted from one relative to another while her father coped with his grief. He married again only nine months later, perhaps to have a mother for his child, but her new mum, harsh and withholding of her love, quickly exerted complete control over her thoughts and deeds, with her father oblivious. Her name was changed to her stepmother's choice of "Julia." Yet the pale, thin, quiet little girl didn't know she was unhappy: things were just the way they were.
Narrating from the perspective of the child she was but with the understanding and empathy of the nurse and mother she became, the author of Call the Nurse recounts the moving, intimate, indelible story of her young life, growing up in rural England near Bath, relishing the good times when her stepmother was friendly or she helped her father in the garden, experiencing the world war—air raids and blackouts, the war effort, evacuees, German prisoners—winning a scholarship, leaving home to train for three years as a nurse, and gradually finding her way as an independent woman.
Mary J. MacLeod published her first book when she was eighty years old. She was born in 1932 and grew up in a rural village near Bath, England. She trained as a nurse at Bristol Royal Hospitals, married twice, had four children, and lived in Aden, California, Nevada, Sweden, and Saudi. In early 1970s, she moved with her family to a remote Scottish island and became a district nurse. She is the author of Call the Nurse, a Wall Street Journal bestseller,and Nurse, Come You Here!, an iBooks US bestseller, both published by Arcade. She is now widowed and living in Berkshire, England.
"An inherently fascinating, impressively candid, engagingly presented, and deeply personal memoir . . . An especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary Biography collections."—Midwest Book Review
"Mary J. MacLeod’s reminiscences of her upbringing in rural England in the 1940s bring the war years to vivid life. Although the childhood she describes was a tragically unhappy one, the wisdom and generosity with which she recounts those hard times make this memoir an inspiration to read."—Jean Hegland, author of Into the Forest and Still Time
Praise for Call the Nurse and Nurse, Come You Here!
"Julia MacLeod shares unique and enchanting experiences as a nurse in rural Scotland. Her stories will ring true with every nurse—or anyone—who has ever cared for a family or a community, whether in Scotland or America. Call the Nurse is a delightful read.”
—LeAnn Thieman, author Chicken Soup for the Nurse's Soul
"Cozy and chatty . . . A lovely account of ordinary people thriving in an extraordinary landscape."—Kirkus Reviews
"The book feels like a letter from a friend who has an eye for travel writing. . . . With a nurse's no-nonsense manner, MacLeod relays tales of adventure, finding humor and humanity in her experiences. . . . For James Herriot fans, without the animals."—Booklist
"MacLeod proves to be an engaging narrative writer who uses humor and vernacular to her advantage. Should be of interest not only to medical professionals but to all readers who want to escape to a slower way of life."—Library Journal
"This lively and heartening memoir evokes both the hardships and the humour of island life."—The Scotsman
"This charming, bracing reminiscence of life on a remote Hebridean island captures a vanishing world filled with memorable stories and characters. . . . Mary J. MacLeod makes you care, moves you, amuses you, shocks you, teaches you: This is a surprising, satisfying memoir."—Floyd Skloot, author of In the Shadow of Memory and The Wink of the Zenith: The Shaping of a Writer's Life
"Call the Midwife gave [us] . . . the nursing profession in 1950s London. Now, a retired district nurse [gives us] the heartwarming and humorous—yet often shocking—events on a remote Scottish island."—Sunday Post, UK
"A charming tale, packed full with reminiscences, rather in the manner of the recent hit TV series, Call the Midwife. . . . Her tales of joy, trouble, drama, and comedy are warm and humorous, telling of a bygone era."—Westcountry Life, Western Morning News, UK
"Julia MacLeod has written a book which encapsulates Hebridean life during some decades past . . . with a sensitivity that reflects her nursing career."—Lady Claire Macdonald of Macdonald, from her foreword
"Not only about medical travails and emergencies, but also stories of friendship formed with steadfast people, children lost and found, farm animals that wander a little too far, and rumors of a ghostly apparition whispering a hidden secret. Extraordinary, heartwarming, and at times a little bit tragic, Nurse, Come You Here! captures the essence of a rugged, close-knit rural community."—The Biography Shelf