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Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth

Call the Midwife (2002)

by Jennifer Worth

Other authors: Terry Coates (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Midwife Trilogy (1)

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1,5991146,936 (4.12)1 / 248

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English (111)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (114)
Showing 1-5 of 111 (next | show all)
Nursing and midwifery were in a deplorable state. It was not considered a respectable occupation for any educated woman, and so the illiterate filled the gap. In the 19th century no poor woman could afford to pay a doctor so she was forced to rely in the services of an untrained, self-taught handy woman. Some may have been effective but others had a frightening mortality rate. Infant mortality was at about 60%. The Midwives of St. Raymond saw the answer to this social evil lay in the proper training and control of their work by legislation. It took 30 years.
  taurus27 | May 27, 2019 |
I picked this up while I was part-way through watching the first season of the show based on it. It was impossible to not get caught up in the story - Jennifer Worth's writing style is so engaging. She describes everything from the people she encounters to the physical, social and cultural landscape around her with a beautifully honest touch. It was wonderful to be able to read more of the back story of some of the situations that were featured on-screen, even though my heart was breaking all over again reading about young Irish Mary and Mrs Newman in particular. I also found it fascinating to learn more about both Sister Evangelina and Sister Monica Joan's background stories.

Really enjoyed this. Off to read the next book now! ( )
  JayeJ | May 21, 2019 |
I enjoyed this memoir about working as a midwife in the East End of London in the 1950s. Worth's description of the people she met and worked with brought the period to life. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Workhouse. ( )
  krin5292 | May 6, 2019 |
Strong 4.5 stars. This is possibly my favorite memoir I've ever read. The voice of Jenny Worth is one that is not afraid to look back on her own sometimes judgmental heart and measure its failings and growth, as she lived and learned among people she often misunderstood or undervalued at first. Her growth in maturity is a highlight of the book, but ultimately it is more about those she knew: the dear Sisters she worked alongside, the mother and fathers and children who laughed, mourned, loved, lived and died in the East End.

If you've watched the BBC series, I would both caution and encourage you as you approach the book. On the one hand, don't walk into these pages thinking the memoir is equally sanitized. Ms. Worth does not flinch from describing life in the East End with jolting frankness. On the other hand, the characters you love are all here, and I'm impressed with how well the show captures their essences. ( )
  AmandaGStevens | Mar 2, 2019 |
This is a compelling, thought provoking look at midwifery in the slums of post war London. Reading this affirms my feeling that it's a miracle so many healthy babies have been born over the centuries to mothers who made it through the birth just fine. Some of the book was too graphic for me, but it's easy enough to skip a few pages. Highly recommend. ( )
  tkcs | Feb 23, 2019 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Worth, Jenniferprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Coates, TerryEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barber, NicolaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cole, StephanieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is dedicated to Philip, my dear husband.
The history of 'Mary' is also dedicated to the memory of Father Joseph Williamson and Daphne Jones.
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Nonnatus House was situated in the heart of the London Docklands.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
At the age of twenty-two, Jennifer Worth leaves her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in postwar London's East End slums. The colorful characters she meets while delivering babies...from the plucky warmhearted nuns with whom she lives, to the woman with twenty-four children, to the prostitutes and dockers of the city's seedier side..illuminate a fascinating time in history.
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Jennifer Worth was just twenty-two when she volunteered to spend her early years of midwifery training in London's East End in the 1950s. Coming from a sheltered background there were tough lessons to be learned. The conditions in which many women gave birth just half a century ago were horrifying.… (more)

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