“Interesting book. I wish I'd seen the PBS series.”Ethel D wrote this review 4 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“possible book club book”Mary W wrote this review 4 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“library”Pam S wrote this review Wednesday, November 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I liked these stories of the beginning of the National Health System in UK following WWII. Pretty amazing how the poor survived and pretty amazing how the midwives managed to save lives of mothers and babies as well as improve them. ”EISSPE wrote this review Tuesday, October 8, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Excellent read. I learned a lot about midwifery and its history through the eyes of a midwife working in post war London. Great stories about working side by side with the nuns in the area.”Margie B wrote this review Tuesday, October 1, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Though my mother has long spoken of this book, I never bothered to read it until I fell in love with the BBC series. Ah well. But I equally loved this book, these memoirs that are varying between heartbreaking and hilarious. I laughed, I cried, etc. The writing is polished and lively and personal, all that it should be. Wonderful book.”Backroads wrote this review Friday, September 27, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I started watching this show on Netflix and enjoyed it immediately, so when I found the book I picked it up. The TV show follows the characters and scenes pretty closely.
I thought the book was well written-- a compilation of the midwife and life experiences of Jenny Lee in London in the 1950's. As she tells of the patients she encountered and her life in the convent, she learns what it means to believe in God and love others. I loved the ending, where Sister Monica Joan says, "How can you love ignorant, brutish people whom you don't even know? Can anyone love filth and squalor? Or lice and rats? Who can love aching weariness, and carry on working, in spite of it? One cannot love these things. One can only love God, and through HIs grace come to love His people."
There was a little repetition about life in the slums in a few of the chapters, which should have been edited out, but overall it was enjoyable. OTHER THAN there is one chapter that details a patient's involvement in prostitution/the sex trade that was extremely graphic and I wish I had not read it.
“Excellent! The PBS show was based on this book. Loved it!”Darlene g wrote this review Friday, September 20, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“interesting and educational -- book club
Jennifer Worth came from a sheltered background when she became a midwife in the Docklands in the 1950s. The conditions in which many women gave birth just half a century ago were horrifying, not only because of their grimly impoverished surroundings, but also because of what they were expected to endure. But while Jennifer witnessed brutality and tragedy, she also met with amazing kindness and understanding, tempered by a great deal of Cockney humour. She also earned the confidences of some whose lives were truly stranger, more poignant and more terrifying than could ever be recounted in fiction. Attached to an order of nuns who had been working in the slums since the 1870s, Jennifer tells the story not only of the women she treated, but also of the community of nuns (including one who was accused of stealing jewels from Hatton Garden) and the camaraderie of the midwives with whom she trained. Funny, disturbing and incredibly moving, Jennifer's stories bring to life the colourful world of the East End in the 1950s.”