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Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth
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Call the Midwife (original 2002; edition 2006)

by Jennifer Worth

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1,218956,542 (4.12)1 / 202
Member:MmeRose
Title:Call the Midwife
Authors:Jennifer Worth
Info:Soundings Ltd (2006), Edition: Unabridged, Audio Cassette
Collections:Non-fiction (Other)
Rating:***
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Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth (2002)

  1. 10
    All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot (cbl_tn)
    cbl_tn: These books have a similar nostalgic feel for a community and an era.
  2. 00
    White City by Donald James Wheal (bergs47)
  3. 00
    Arms Wide Open: A Midwife's Journey by Patricia Harman (cransell)
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Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
Very interesting, post WWII England, a woman stays in a convent and practices midwifery. Didn't quite "get" why that was, but in any case a nice mix of her stories of that, and of births. Well done, interesting & educational. ( )
  JeanetteSkwor | Nov 15, 2016 |
Like the “real Downton Abbey” book I read a couple years back, this one misses the magic of the show, at least for me. This book has all the stories and tragedies and joys of the first couple seasons of the BBC Call the Midwife show. And they are interesting. And it’s a bit easier to ignore the gross bits when they are in text rather than video beamed into you eyeballs. So that’s nice.

But the musings and philosophizing of Jenny are almost unbearable. They are in the show as well, but normally they are kept to the initial and final voiceovers. Jenny just has a sort of savior complex that, even when she talks about how “resilient” or “hard-working” her patients are, it still feels like she doesn’t think they are quite as civilized as she is. I feel like I’m being harsh. It wasn’t really as bad as all that. It just seemed like that was going on under the surface of the text.

Overall, this was a quick read, once I decided I was going to do it (I had started it a year ago, but gave up because of the pontificating). It does paint an interesting picture of mid-20th century East End life. It gives a bit more medical information than the show, without assaulting you with graphic images. I just couldn’t get past Jenny. ( )
  jlharmon | Nov 3, 2016 |
A truly fascinating biography that hooked me right away. The stories are heartbreaking, funny and completely eye opening about giving birth in the east end of London during the 50s and 60s. Jennifer is candid and honest about the conditions she worked in, the poverty and abuse she saw. But also the beauty she found in the simple joys of people who did not have much. Some of the stories are quite funny and others so painful to read, you will find tears running down your eyes. You will fall in love with the nuns she worked with and her patients. You will also learn so much and truly be grateful (and somewhat saddened strangely enough) by the changes in medical practices dealing with childbirth (Done it twice myself, and holy hell thank you I cannot imagine what would have happened to Jacob if I had giving birth during that era) I really enjoyed the story about Princess Diana's bodyguard and also the one about the husband who accepted another mans child as his own. I will be picking up the other books by her before I sit down to watch the series. ( )
  mountie9 | Oct 14, 2016 |
Heartbreaking but compulsively readable. This memoir is a wonderful example of how horrible circumstances can be related in a compassionate way. So very good - looking forward to reading the following books. ( )
  Maureen_McCombs | Aug 19, 2016 |
This was a fascinating glimpse into the life of a midwife in the poor section of London, in the 50's. Very nice, though I don't think I'll read more. Not that it wasn't good, it's just that I feel I have a good flavor for the times and experiences of the people. ( )
  Laura_Drake | Aug 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 94 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jennifer Worthprimary authorall editionscalculated
Coates, TerryEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barber, NicolaReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cole, StephanieReadersecondary 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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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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