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Always Pack a Candle

A Nurse in the Cariboo-Chilcotin

by (author) Marion McKinnon Crook

Heritage House Publishing
Initial publish date
May 2021
Career Education, History, Physical and Health Education
Grade Levels
10 to 12
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2021
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2021
    List Price

Where to buy it

Descriptive Review

This abbreviated memoir recounts the author’s experiences as a public health nurse in BC’s Interior in the 1960s. Despite not being a “city slicker,” she is unprepared for many of the conditions she encounters in the Cariboo. Whether enduring the long, cold winter or the muddiness of the spring melt – or encountering sheep, moose, or logging trucks on lonely roads – she meets the myriad challenges with good sense, humour, and often a dose of courage. Although the times were different than today, some experiences remain all too familiar, as the author often must contend with racism, prejudice, and the complications of bureaucratic red tape. She provides a glimpse into the world of 50 years ago, and her upbeat voice offers not only a series of engaging adventures but also some hopeful inspiration, reminding us that the dedicated sense of caring required of a nurse remains as true today as it did then.

288 pp., 6 × 9", b&w maps

Source: Association of Book Publishers of BC - BC Books for Schools (2021-2022)

About the author

Marion McKinnon Crook is a nurse, an educator, and the author of more than fifteen books. She began writing short stories in the 1960s while working as a public health nurse in the Cariboo. 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


  • Winner, BC Historical Federation Community History Book

Editorial Reviews

"At its core, history is about storytelling ... Crook effectively employs a literary style that kept me engaged through the entire memoir." —Sean Graham, host, History Slam Podcast