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Biography & Autobiography Personal Memoirs

Always On Call

Adventures in Nursing, Ranching, and Rural Living

by (author) Marion McKinnon Crook

Heritage House Publishing
Initial publish date
Jul 2024
Personal Memoirs, Medical, Women
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jul 2024
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2024
    List Price

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In the long-awaited sequel to Always Pack a Candle, intrepid public health nurse Marion Crook juggles marriage, children, and a vast array of patients and cases in rural British Columbia in the 1970s.

It has been over a decade since Marion Crook arrived in the Cariboo for her first job out of nursing school. The vast rural territory that once left her awestruck now feels like home, as she embraces life on the ranch with her husband, Carl, three young children, and numerous farm animals. But things are far from idyllic.

Overseeing a small staff of irrepressible nurses serving a public health district the size of a small country brings new challenges every day. From runaway patients and needle-phobic hockey players to cultural misunderstandings and heartbreaking cases of abuse and neglect, Marion never knows what is coming next. The 1970s bring signs of social progress as women gain more autonomy and the region grows more culturally diverse. Yet, old prejudices persist, and Marion must fight for her patients, as well as for her adopted son.

Recounted with warmth, compassion, and riveting detail, Always On Call is a fascinating portrait of the hectic life of a rural nurse and highlights the importance of the helping professions.

About the author

Marion McKinnon Crook is a nurse, an educator, and the author of more than fifteen books, including the bestselling Always Pack a Candle, which won the BC Historical Federation;s Community History Book Award. In addition to her nursing degree, McKinnon Crook holds a master's in liberal studies and a PhD in education. Now a full-time writer, she lives on BC's Sunshine Coast with her dog and cat, who hate each other. For more information, visit

Marion McKinnon Crook's profile page

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