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Farewell To The East End by Jennifer Worth…
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Farewell To The East End by Jennifer Worth (Paperback) (Morrisons) (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Jennifer Worth (Author)

Series: Midwife Trilogy (3)

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7633128,910 (4.11)77
The last book in the trilogy begun by Jennifer Worth's New York Times bestseller and the basis for the PBS series Call the Midwife. When twenty-two-year-old Jennifer Worth, from a comfortable middle-class upbringing, went to work as a midwife in the poorest section of postwar London, she not only delivered hundreds of babies and touched many lives, she also became the neighborhood's most vivid chronicler. Here, at last, is the full story of Chummy's delightful courtship and wedding. We also meet Megan'mave, identical twins who share a browbeaten husband, and return to Sister Monica Joan, who is in top eccentric form.… (more)
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Title:Farewell To The East End by Jennifer Worth (Paperback) (Morrisons)
Authors:Jennifer Worth (Author)
Info:Orion Publishing Co (2009), 338 pages
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Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End by Jennifer Worth (2009)

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I liked this a little more than the previous books primarily because there are some great stories about Chummy in here.

I originally watched the TV series and read this afterward out of curiosity, and I feel very conflicted about the results. On the one hand, I enjoyed the episode where Sister Evangelina and Trixie board that ship and deliver the baby to the "ship's woman". It's funny and fun and I think it's one of Trixie's best episodes. I also think it has a better conclusion.

On the other hand, I feel robbed of an amazing Chummy episode. The story in the book is incredibly inspiring and just... well... it's great. I'm sad I never got to see that on-screen.

This book also contains the conclusions for the characters in the series, which was interesting and a bit depressing to read. Of course most (if not all) of the characters are dead; I understand how time works. On the hand, it was interesting to finally see where everyone ended up.

I still am not a big fan of these books. I think they provide an excellent look at the history of certain fields of medicine, various important things about different types of inequality, and the struggles of women for equal rights. I think they drag, are a bit dated, but are at least a nice companion to the TV series if you're a fan. Might find it hard to rewatch the show afterward, though, given all that was changed. ( )
  AnonR | Aug 5, 2023 |
This is the third of a trilogy of memoirs about life in London's East End in the 50's. The parts I liked the most were the anecdotes that directly related to the author, Jennifer Worth, and her time working as a midwife. The first book was the best in this respect.

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 her relationship with David, so the story needed to be in there. But I felt offended by how the daughter was repeatedly described as "cheerful" and the men were characterized at being so concerned for her. I can't imagine someone whose father made her a prostitute for every man on his ship, including himself, when she was 14 and had just lost her mother as being cheerful about it. Delusional maybe, after years of it, but not happy. And as for the men who used her like a toy-I would bet their concern went as far as the concern they might have for a pet dog. I don't know what anyone could have done for the captain's daughter, especially since they left before Chummy could get back to check on the baby, but I would have liked the tone of this chapter to have more anger and sadness on the woman's behalf.

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. ( )
  Harks | Dec 17, 2022 |
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. ( )
  Nefersw | Jan 14, 2022 |
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 |
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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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The last book in the trilogy begun by Jennifer Worth's New York Times bestseller and the basis for the PBS series Call the Midwife. When twenty-two-year-old Jennifer Worth, from a comfortable middle-class upbringing, went to work as a midwife in the poorest section of postwar London, she not only delivered hundreds of babies and touched many lives, she also became the neighborhood's most vivid chronicler. Here, at last, is the full story of Chummy's delightful courtship and wedding. We also meet Megan'mave, identical twins who share a browbeaten husband, and return to Sister Monica Joan, who is in top eccentric form.

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