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Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End (2009)
by Jennifer Worth
Books Read in 2016 (2,578)
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Last book in the trilogy that the show "Call the Midwife" is based upon. Enjoyed this as much as the others. Sorry to see the books come to an end. Highly recommend to anyone who wants to read more on the history and people of the East End of London in the 1950's.
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.
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.
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.
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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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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)618.20092 — Technology and Application of Knowledge Medicine and health Gynecology and Pediatrics Pregnancy
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An edition of this book was published by HighBridge Audio.
This third book started and ended with the more personal anecdotes, but kind of meandered around with other people's stories in the middle. When she told a story that she had gotten second or third hand, she told it with intimate details as if she had been there. While it says something for her descriptive powers and imagination, these chapters felt out of place in a collection of memoirs.
One of my favorite things about this installment was that she let us know how everyone's lives turned out-Chummy and David, Cynthia, Trixie, and the beloved nuns at the convent. It was nice to read about where their lives went and how many of them stayed in touch with each other.
The chapter called The Captain's Daughter was a little too open-minded with its approach to the situation Chummy walked into. She was clearly the star of the piece, and it was when she started
All three books are worth reading-Jennifer Worth was a great storyteller. I don't know if she had a photographic memory or simply kept a detailed diary, but she really brought the time and the people to life in these books. ( )