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The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and…

The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times (original 2002; edition 2009)

by Jennifer Worth

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,202936,668 (4.13)1 / 200
Title:The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times
Authors:Jennifer Worth
Info:Penguin Books (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library, Read
Tags:Non-Fiction, Memoir

Work details

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth (2002)

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    White City by Donald James Wheal (bergs47)
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Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
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 |
The power of this story is that it takes you to another world than our modern day, first world lives. A world where mothers have eight children and that's not really a large family. A world where fathers slap mothers around, and their children, too, if they wish. A world where young children just wear shirts and go where they will. A world where a mother can defy a doctor and refuse to go with her 1 1/2 pound premie baby to the hospital. And it wasn't that long ago. ( )
  debnance | Aug 13, 2016 |
I really enjoyed this book - it was a tremendous memoir. I loved the characters (the actors in the TV series were very well matched). I loved reading about the history of the convent and the sisters and about the East End of London in the 1950s. My dad was born in Stepney so must have lived in these atrocious conditions. My heart goes out to all of those poor women who had to live in such abject poverty.

Back Cover Blurb:
At the age of twenty-two, Jennifer Worth leaves her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in post war London's East End slums. The colourful characters she meets while delivering bables all over the East End of London - from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lives, to the woman with twenty-four children who can't speak English, to the prositutes and dockers of the city's seedier side - illuminates a fascinating time in history. Beautifully written and utterly moving, Call the Midwife will touch the hearts of anyone who is, and everyone who has, a mother. ( )
  mazda502001 | Aug 3, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jennifer Worthprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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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