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Shadows of the Workhouse (2005)

by Jennifer Worth

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Midwife Trilogy (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7693322,408 (4.04)75
The Call the midwife trilogy is comprised of Call the midwife (not included here, c2002), Shadows of the workhouse (this book, c2005), and Farewell to the East End (not included here, c2009). Together, this series chronicles Jennifer Worth's career as a midwife from start to finish, from her arrival in the war-scarred Docklands as a wide-eyed trainee, to the demolition of the tenements and subsequent closure of Nonnatus House. It provides a fascinating snapshot of social history, documenting the East End in the days when there was a real sense of community, when times were tough but there was plenty of good humour and neighbourly support to help the inhabitants through the harsh economic climate. The book also enables readers to follow Jennifer's personal story, as she discovers the amazing resilience of a population still bearing the scars of war, and the vibrant community of nuns with whom she lives and who teach her the skills of midwifery. In stories that are funny, disturbing and moving in equal measure, we meet prostitutes and abortionists, bigamists and mischievous nuns, and see Jennifer earn the confidence of people whose lives are often stranger than fiction.… (more)
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» See also 75 mentions

English (32)  Italian (1)  All languages (33)
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
Another instalment in the Midwife series. This time focused on the appalling conditions of the workhouses and the poor that lived there. I found this book to be much sadder given the stories of the people who have no choices in life. Profound real life account of how people lived in horrible conditions. ( )
  tinkerbellkk | Nov 2, 2021 |
Second volume of memoirs of a nurse and stories about the patients she served in London's East End.

Moving account of what it was like to be poor in the early to mid 20th century. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Oct 31, 2020 |
I loved this book. The first few chapters were a difficult read but well worth it. I enjoyed this book and I enjoy this series on Netflix. ( )
  booboo123 | Jun 4, 2020 |
Excellent audio book. Made me feel like a very lucky person to be born in the time and place I was (even though I complain about being in a cube all day and our male-dominated society it still beats having to live in poverty and enslavement).

If you watch the Call the Midwife series you'll recognize several of these stories. ( )
  gakgakg | May 28, 2020 |
Wonderful series that is an easy, quick read, but has insights into not just mid-20th-century social and family issues, but also late 19th-century. ( )
  AmyMacEvilly | May 17, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Worth, Jenniferprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barber, NicolaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedicated with respect and gratitude to Patricia Holt-Schooling of Merton Books, whose vision, enterprise and courage led to the first publication of these books.
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Nonnatus House was both a convent and the working base for the nursing and midwifery services of the Sisters of St. Raymond Nonnatus.
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The Call the midwife trilogy is comprised of Call the midwife (not included here, c2002), Shadows of the workhouse (this book, c2005), and Farewell to the East End (not included here, c2009). Together, this series chronicles Jennifer Worth's career as a midwife from start to finish, from her arrival in the war-scarred Docklands as a wide-eyed trainee, to the demolition of the tenements and subsequent closure of Nonnatus House. It provides a fascinating snapshot of social history, documenting the East End in the days when there was a real sense of community, when times were tough but there was plenty of good humour and neighbourly support to help the inhabitants through the harsh economic climate. The book also enables readers to follow Jennifer's personal story, as she discovers the amazing resilience of a population still bearing the scars of war, and the vibrant community of nuns with whom she lives and who teach her the skills of midwifery. In stories that are funny, disturbing and moving in equal measure, we meet prostitutes and abortionists, bigamists and mischievous nuns, and see Jennifer earn the confidence of people whose lives are often stranger than fiction.

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