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Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times Paperback – Aug 29 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Rep Mti edition (Aug. 29 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143123254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143123255
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

Re-released to tie in with a new BBC adaptation, you must read this superbly moving but also witty story. CLOSER This is a funny, at times disturbing, memoir of a world that has now changed beyond measure. HUDDERSFIELD DAILY EXAMINER A poignant, funny and enlightening book -- Charlotte Vowden DAILY EXPRESS If you loved the TV adaptation, why not read the original books of Jennifer Worth's stories of being a midwife in London in the '50s? The characters you will meet, both colleagues and patients, stay with you for a long time WOMAN --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Jennifer Worth trained as a nurse at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. She then moved to London to train as a midwife. She later became a staff nurse at the Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, and then ward sister and sister at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital in Euston. Music had always been her passion, and in 1973 Jennifer left nursing in order to study music intensively, gaining the Licentiate of the London College of Music in 1974 and a Fellowship ten years later. Jennifer married Philip Worth in 1963 and they lived together in Hertfordshire. She died in May 2011, leaving her husband, two daughters and three grandchildren. Her memoirs are the basis for the popular TV series Call the Midwife.


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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I usually try to read the book or books before I see it at the movies or on television but in this case I saw the television series first. In a way in this case it probably was best I saw the tv version first as I can put a face and a voice to the characters in the book. I just started reading the book a couple of days ago and it's so interesting and at times funny that I just cannot put it down. The author really has done an amazing job on this book. You feel like you are living in the east end of London in the 1950's. What I really thought was a great addition in the book is how in the appendix it explains some of the medical terms used throughout the book. It also explains some of the cockney terms which was great as many terms were unfamiliar to me. I'm so glad that I purchased all 3 books as I know they are going to be a great read. There are so many things I could say about how awesome this book is but I think you should just go ahead and read it. You will love it. As per usually it was super fast shipping and great value from Amazon.
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By Joan on April 5 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a very interesting book. I did not realize that the conditions such as these existed in Britain existed so recently. The Cockneys were an interesting Demi culture.
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Format: Paperback
I really, really enjoyed reading this book. It is a charming little book compiled of a series of Worth's tales from London's Post war East End community. It makes you appreciate the work these ladies put into the community and it's woman. I loved how this book could make you smile with the tales of friendship and new life, yet would break your heart at tragic loss. But one of the most powerful theme I found in this book was a mother's will to do anything and everything to care for her children in even the most desperate of circumstances.
The nuns and midwives of Nonnatus house work with compassion and skill to serve their community to help the mum's of London's slum to care for these infants and bring the new little ones into the world.
This is a book that I would without a doubt recommend

http://melissasbooksaroundtheworld.blogspot.ca/2015/03/call-midwife-memoir-of-birth-joy-and.html
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am in love with this book. Fun to read, humorous, fascinating, full of history of London, medicine and nursing.I have worked in maternity in hospitals in the past and now I work as a home care nurse, the equivalent of district nurses, we dont do home births but visit homes for wound care and palliative care some of which are in very similar conditions nurse Lee describes. I watched the TV series and really enjoyed it but the book brought to life the situations and the characters and filled in the story much better than the show did. I think the casting of the show was perfect though. You dont have to be a nurse to enjoy this book.
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Format: Paperback
Call The Midwife
A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

By Jennifer Worth

"Whoever heard of a midwife as a literary heroine? Yet midwifery is the very stuff of drama. Every child is conceived either in love or lust, is born in pain, followed by joy or sometimes remorse. A Midwife is in the thick of it, she sees it all."

So begins author Worth's memoir and boy is it a fascinating read. This is the first book in the trilogy, which has sold over a million copies in the UK alone. The setting is early 1950's East End of London among the poorest of the poor. This was the land of tenement housing and crime ran as high as the tide that slapped the docks where the majority of the men living in the area worked.

Though Worth was a trained RN, nothing could have prepared her for the work she stepped into alongside the nuns of St Raymund Nonnatus. Through language filled with frank detail and awe for her surroundings, Worth pulls the reader right into the squalor and finds beauty there. The midwives move through the East End on one speed bikes, hauling their simple medical implements, winding through the maze of barely paved lanes and back alleys to deliver baby after baby. Nearly 100 a month!

One aspect of Worth's writing I found a little off-putting was her attempt at conveying the cockney accent spoken by most East Enders of that time. It stops the flow and nearly always comes up when she's explaining a very touching situation and creates this moment of unintentional humor where I'm pretty sure there was very little.

Worth's writing shines when she describes her patients.

"Large families may be the norm, but this is ridiculous...The twenty-fourth baby! And Mrs Conchita Warren spoke no English. I was fascinated.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
which, as good as it is, can't begin to contextualize the stories the way a book does. This surprisingly well-written memoir really presents and in depth view of Docklands culture in the fifties and puts it in a historical context. You learn about huge families living in two room s in buildings that were condemned ten years earlier, about the tragedy of workhouses, runaways, and the irrepressible good humor of the cockneys in the face of life the way it was. Also very interesting is the history of midwifery and prenatal care. The characters at Nunnatus House and beyond are also very nuanced and three dimensional. Perhaps the greatest surprise is the spiritual awakening of young Jenny as she lives with and observes the nuns and their vocation. I am looking forward to the next installment.
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