Call the Midwife

A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

Worth, Jennifer

(Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Call the Midwife
Jennifer Worth was just twenty-two when she volunteered to spend her early years of midwifery training in London's East End in the 1950s. Coming from a sheltered background there were tough lessons to be learned. The conditions in which many women gave birth just half a century ago were horrifying.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Group USA, 2012
ISBN: 0143123254
Characteristics: 340 p. ; 21 cm


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Sep 27, 2014
  • readerpat rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I really loved the TV series which is why I wanted to read this book. This book is not for the squeamish......As I trained to be a midwife in England in the 1960's the clinical descriptions did not bother me but the graphic descriptions of prostitution and what occurs in the brothels I found very disturbing. She could have left a lot of this out of the book.

Jul 30, 2014
  • Jane60201 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Enjoyable glimpse into a different culture and different period of history.

Jul 20, 2014
  • Edgarmole rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

What I liked best about this book was the birth stories. The characters described were interesting too, especially the story of Len and Conchita and their happy family of 25 children. There is a religious theme in the background, but mostly it is about London's poorer sections in the early 1950s, and how the trained midwives would make house calls to care for their pregnant patients.

Jun 17, 2014
  • harrybosch rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

I did not think this book was very well written. Much too rambling, jumping back and forth, hard to follow.

Mar 03, 2014
  • mvkramer rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The atmosphere of the period is conveyed wonderfully, as are the nuns, patients and nurses that the author spent her life as midwife with. The only thing I wish is that there was more to this book! Especially because the author mentions at several points being in unrequited love with an older man but never says who he is or what happened. Frustrating!

Jan 23, 2014
  • KSerá rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The book is much better than the BBC dramatization. Since it's from the perspective of the author as a adult, while the TV show recreates her impressions as a young middle class woman. The complete lack of class prejudice of the mature author is one of the best aspects of the book.

Jan 08, 2014
  • gracindaisy rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Like the PBS television series, the stories of the midwives & nuns in London’s East End will touch your heart. Each birth features another member of this working class, tenement filled and Cockney neighborhood. A real cast of characters!

Jan 08, 2014
  • kozakd rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

All three books are a joy to read and offer a descriptive and fascinating view of life from the first half of the 20th century. I especially liked reading from the feminists perspective and it is a good reminder of how times have changed. The read is not ruined if you watched the DVD first.

Dec 28, 2013
  • maggymaude rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Decided to read the books after viewing Season 1 and 2 DVD's. I found them equally delightful.
The second and third books ("Shadow of the Workhouse", and "Farewell to the East End") are not only very interesting and informative, they are a fascinating slice of life in post-war London's East End, as well as an astonishing glimpse into how workhouses came into being and how they evolved over a few centuries into the infamous establishments they became.
I've bought the DVD;s and enjoyed the books so much that I will now buy them too!

Oct 23, 2013
  • Janetesmith rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is a great reminder of the courage and importance of midwives especially in times of war and of other emergencies. The fact that it is of a true story gives it the kind of credibility true midwives deserve for their often inadequately recognized work. This was a fascinating read as it was well written to keep the reader interested throughout. Midwives and other nurses are the kind of people who health care is really about, the caring for all and especially those who do not easily have access to the kind of health care they need. This story exemplifies that.

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Jun 06, 2013
  • so_yun rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

different stories from memorable events while the author was training as a midwife in London't East End where people are mostly poor and speak with Cockney accent with influx of new immigrants.


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Mar 03, 2014
  • mvkramer rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Sexual Content: One chapter - "Cable Street" contains a very graphic scene of prostitution. Like, so graphic it's hard to believe. I don't think this was gratuitous, the author does want to give us the unvarnished truth after all, but younger or more sensitive readers might want to skip that chapter.


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app04 Version jokkmokk Last updated 2015/01/26 15:03