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4.4 out of 5 stars53
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 18 April 2010
I am a huge fan of true life stories. This did not disapoint. The book was also interesting-factual-funny and i loved the era and nostalgia that goes with it. A very good readable read!! I have read some brilliant books of late inc two wonderful books by Mike Pannett and have just finished Kisses on a Post Card by Terence Frisby. At last something worth reading
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on 24 May 2010
I really enjoyed the book, made me laugh and also parts that made me sad. The black country "wording" in parts also had me chuckling.
I wanted to share the humour because I was sat giggling to myself!
Love the true stories re nursing back in "the old days"
I also really liked Call the Midwife, Jennifer Worth -another excellent book!
Thanks Edith for this book
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on 29 April 2010
What a brilliant book. Very interesting, very funny in parts and very easy to follow. Top marks to Edith for this one. I recommend this book to everyone especially to those readers like myself who did nurse training way back in Edith,s time. I was laughing out loud when I read about the time she spent working in the hospital, those bits were hilarious. But there is a whole chunk of sadness too, but I wont go into any details because it would spoil it for the readers but do get those tissues ready for this very moving story, so be like me, put your feet up and like me enjoy this good book. Thanks Edith,this was my kind of read.
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on 16 February 2011
Like a previous reviewer, I was disappointed by this book. Most of the book was about Edith's previous jobs, and very little is actually about her time as a district nurse. I was very disappointed - if I'd have wanted to read about a woman working in a kennels, that is what I'd have bought a book about.
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on 11 October 2010
I am a child both of the fifties and of the Midlands, so this book was right up my alley!
The District Nurse was a familiar sight on the streets in those days, uniformed & usually pushing a big black bicycle with a basket up front to hold the black bag.
Nurse Edith Cotterill's memories of those days brought my own childhood flooding back and rarely have I laughed out loud all from the first to last page of a book.
My mother borrowed it and she couldn't put it down. It has since done the rounds of our family and friends.
Anyone aged over fifty will surely love this book.
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on 20 September 2010
I bought Nurse on Call after extreamly enjoying Jennifer Worths 3 books including Call the Midwife even though i am not a nurse myself. I found NOC quite hard to get into at first but after sticking with it, i was glad i had read it right through and stuck with it ... the book is about Edith Cotterill from child to elder including her ups and downs of life, i found that the book wasnt as much about nursing and the stories of her nursing career as expected. However i think she pulled it of with the very unexpected ending, Overall i enjoyed the book and recommend it.
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on 10 January 2011
On beginning to read Edith Cotterill's book I was less than enthusiastic. As an ex nurse I am addicted to nurses' memoirs, but Nurse on Call appeared, at first, to go off at a rather odd tangent. I even thought that the title was slightly odd as it took some time for the nursing theme to become apparent. In addition, Edith Cotterill's style of writing seemed somewhat stiff and formal. I can only liken the first part of the book to talking with a stranger to whom you warm in time.
By the second half of the book the author had really relaxed into her story and let her natural warmth and humanity shine through. Towards the end of the book it is quite clear that she was an exceptionally humane and genuine woman whose moving accounts of the loss of her mother and daughter and also the family dog, Bosun, reduced me to tears.
There are also many chuckle-inducing anecdotes recounted about the patients encountered on her 'district' rounds. I think that whether you are a nursing story devotee or just enjoy the everyday reminiscences of daily life, this is an easy and enjoyable read.
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on 15 August 2010
I really enjoyed this book, it's easy to read and brimming with characters from a bygone age. It takes in nurse training and the fear of matron, a young woman's rite of passage reaching adulthood and the dark days of World War 2 and the huge social change thereafter. It is well written but at times lapses into cliche, but it is heartfelt and genuine. I grew to love Edith Cotterill and her family and way past the last page I was willing things to be different for them. This book isn't in the same league as "Call the Midwife", but it is joyous, honest and innocent.
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on 8 June 2011
I am going to echo some of the sentiments of some of the other reviewers. I too found the writing style stiff and formal and I initially had some difficulty engaging with the Edith, the author, and felt like giving up with the book.

I stuck with it and I eventually warmed to her and her family, so much so that by the time I reached the tragic, heartbreaking finale I was hooked and wanted to find out what life was like for Edith afterwards. To that end I was somewhat disappointed to discover that she did not write a sequel to this book before her death in 1997, so the reader never knows.

The book is more of a life memoir than a memoir about nursing, so if you are looking for a book filled with nursing anecdotes then you will probably be a little disappointed. Although Edith did train as a nurse as a young woman she does not become a distinct nurse until near the end of the book, a bit misleading as the book is marketed on this premise. In all honesty I would not say that this is one the best books I have ever read, but overall, after my initial misgivings, I enjoyed it, although I dearly wished for a happy ending for them which sadly wasn't to be. If the genre of memoirs is what floats your boat, then it is worth giving this book a go.
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on 27 March 2011
Didn't enjoy this book at all. It spends more time talking about dog breeding than it does about nursing which is what is was purchased for.
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