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Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End (2009)

by Jennifer Worth

Series: Midwife Trilogy (3)

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6212829,371 (4.1)66
This final book in Jennifer Worth's memories of her time as a midwife in London's East end brings her story full circle. As always there are heartbreaking stories such as the family devastated by tuberculosis and a ship's woman who 'serviced' the entire crew, as well as plenty of humour and warmth such as the tale of Megan'mave, two women who shared the same husband! Other stories cover backstreet abortions, the changing life of the docklands, infanticide, as well as the lives of the inhabitants of Nonnatus House. We discover what happens with the gauche debutant Chummy and her equally gauche policeman; will Sister Monica Joan continue her life of crime?; will Sister Evangelina ever crack a smile? And what of Jennifer herself? The book not only details the final years of the tenements that but also of Jennifer's journey as she moves on from the close community of nuns, and her life takes a new path.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
Final volume of memoir/oral history of midwives working in slum areas in the East End of London in the 1950s and earlier. Stories of incredible courage and endurance and also of ignorant cruelty. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Feb 7, 2021 |
Again very readable and not just a memoir, but a bit of sociology. It did run out of steam at the end. It was good to read about how the real counterparts of the characters on the TV show ran their course. I am angry at the show writers about what they did to Cynthia's true story. I'm very glad that Jennifer Worth is honest and caring about Cynthia having depression. I am angry that the show writers had to fabricate a sexual assault as an etiology for the TV character's mental health issues. Mental illness isn't like that, and they shouldn't have done that: It was an injustice to the true Cynthia and her treatment in Worth's memoir. ( )
  AmyMacEvilly | May 30, 2020 |
Too disturbing for me were the chapters detailing rape and abortion and infanticide. I was looking forward to more uplifting scenes of birth and pregnancy. I know there is a lot of horrible stuff that has happened to women but at least balance it out with the good. I felt this volume of stories was very depressing and graphic with gratuitous descriptions of violence against women and children. ( )
  wrightja2000 | Sep 6, 2018 |
Again, I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir and the tales from London's East End. ( )
  kimreadthis | May 29, 2018 |
This was a book club read and I must admit I didn’t go eagerly into reading it, as I’m not one who tends to read books that have been made into tv shows (I’m just weird that way). I only read one or two of the stories, however, and I was hooked. Yes, some of it reads like filler, but it is book three. I’m definitely putting books one and two on hold at the library and I may (Gulp! Hate to admit this!) take a look at the tv shows, too. ( )
  debnance | Jun 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
In 1855 Queen Victoria wrote to her daughter Vicky, the Crown Princess of Prussia, who was expecting a baby:

What you say about the pride of giving life to an immortal soul is very fine, but I own I cannot enter into all that. I think very much more of our being like a cow or a dog at such moments, when our poor nature becomes so very animal and unecstatic.
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Dedicated to Cynthia for a lifetime of friendship
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Someone once said that youth is wasted on the young.
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This final book in Jennifer Worth's memories of her time as a midwife in London's East end brings her story full circle. As always there are heartbreaking stories such as the family devastated by tuberculosis and a ship's woman who 'serviced' the entire crew, as well as plenty of humour and warmth such as the tale of Megan'mave, two women who shared the same husband! Other stories cover backstreet abortions, the changing life of the docklands, infanticide, as well as the lives of the inhabitants of Nonnatus House. We discover what happens with the gauche debutant Chummy and her equally gauche policeman; will Sister Monica Joan continue her life of crime?; will Sister Evangelina ever crack a smile? And what of Jennifer herself? The book not only details the final years of the tenements that but also of Jennifer's journey as she moves on from the close community of nuns, and her life takes a new path.

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