Mary J. MacLeod's line of work allows her a uniquely intimate window into the lives of the insular rural community she left London for in the 1970s. Gwen Hughes' conversational tone suits MacLeod's frank style and closes the gap to allow each listener to feel as though the nurse is personally sharing her stories on a house call.
The anecdotes in Call the Nurse range from tragedy to humor but are always handled with the love MacLeod clearly feels toward the island's residents, their foibles, old-fashioned way of life, and the mythically beautiful landscape that left her enchanted.
Recalling the classic works by James Herriot and the new British hit Call the Midwife, a nurse’s heartwarming adventures with her family while practicing in rural Scotland.
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, George, encountered their dream while vacationing on a remote island in the Scottish Hebrides. Enthralled by its windswept beauty, they soon were the proud and startled 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.
©2012, 2013 Mary J. MacLeod. Foreword c. 2013 by Lady Claire Macdonald (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
No plot spoilers please!
This is a fun, engaging, and often poignant story of a family that moves to a remote Scottish island, renovates a croft and sets out to live a much simpler life. The stories center on quirky island folk and old traditions. This hardy nurse sees it all. Rising to every occasion with tremendous aplomb.
However, the narration was an issue for me. The accents were off and varied with a great deal of inconsistency. What was worse was the slow speaking mode the narrator used. I remedied the problem by, for the first time ever, increasing my play back speed. I found that 1.25 speed was perfect and made the reader sound almost normal. I did not want to give up on the story-- so this was a quick fix that made the book tolerable.
Narration aside it was a good story and worth the effort. If you enjoyed Call the Midwife, the Irish country Doctor series or even the James Herriot books you might enjoy this visit to the Outer Hebrides.
Former Waitress, Chargeback clerk, Clown, Florist owner, Clergy. Love series, humor, twists, history, mysteries, not into witches/bondage.
The author used many different types of experiences, some were just about living in an isolated community. Not all were happily ever after stories, but all were interesting and some very funny. I also liked the descriptions of the islands and towns.
I did like her voices. I thought the accents were good, but since I have never been there I might be wrong. Occasionally, I did not care for how she ended some sentences.
This was a fun read. The story and descriptions make the islands and the residents come alive.
It is dreadful - the narrator does not know how to pronounce many of the place names or even "setee"! Horrid - it should be an English accent.
I would listen to another book by Mary J MacLeod - however, I would never listen again to anything narrated by Gwen Hughes. (sorry, Ms. Hughes)
It's has a bit of the feel of the James Herriot "All Creatures" series.
It's a tough call. I made it through - but barely.
The dialect, pronunciation, and accents were horrendous. I had read previous reviews and thought "How bad can it be?" The accents and character voices were inconsistent and I was shocked that the narrator made no effort to find correct Gaelic pronunciation, making some of the words and phrases un-decipherable.
Can't continue listening to this narration. Will purchase kindle edition. The narrator butchers the beautiful accents of the Hebrides and all of the British accents in general. I've been there. This is so bad it detracts from the story.
The story draws you in. The narrator pushes you out!
Only if set in North America.
Will let you know. After I read it on Kindle.
Should have been done by a British narrator.
Part of the beauty of listening to stories that take place in the British Isles is hearing the different accents and dialects of the people telling the stories. That is completely lost with the American narrator of this audiobook.
Her attempts at English and Scottish accents don't succeed and distract from the story.
Wish I hadn't bought this audiobook.
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