“Very interesting.”Mrs. K wrote this review Tuesday, June 18, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The stories are so sweet and interesting. A wonderful slice of life of in post war London. ”Anita Laabs wrote this review Tuesday, June 11, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“June 2013 book club selection. The stories are great - the writing not as great. I appreciated that even though it's about midwives I learned a lot about London in the 1950's beyond childbirth.”Judith H wrote this review Wednesday, June 26, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“06/13: Bought this in an excellent Audible sale and now listening. LOVE IT!
06/13: Audible got me interested in this one in an e-newsletter.
Book Description: Worth gained her midwife training in the 1950s among an Anglican order of nuns dedicated to ensuring safer childbirth for the poor living amid the Docklands slums on the East End of London. Her engaging memoir retraces those early years caring for the indigent and unfortunate during the pinched postwar era in London, when health care was nearly nonexistent, antibiotics brand-new, sanitary facilities rare, contraception unreliable and families with 13 or more children the norm. Working alongside the trained nurses and midwives of St. Raymund Nonnatus (a pseudonym she's given the place), Worth made frequent visits to the tenements that housed the dock workers and their families, often in the dead of night on her bicycle. Her well-polished anecdotes are teeming with character detail of some of the more memorable nurses she worked with, such as the six-foot-two Camilla Fortescue-Cholmeley-Browne, called Chummy, who renounced her genteel upbringing to become a nurse, or the dotty old Sister Monica Joan, who fancied cakes immoderately. Patients included Molly, only 19 and already trapped in poverty and degradation with several children and an abusive husband; Mrs. Conchita Warren, who was delivering her 24th baby; or the birdlike vagrant, Mrs. Jenkins, whose children were taken away from her when she entered the workhouse.”
“Besides learning a lot about post-war London and much about midwifery, I experienced a very enjoyable narrative. Jennifer Worth is a gifted storyteller. There are for sure unique and interesting people for her to write about, but their descriptions and stories are told in a sympathetic, yet entertaining manner. I read this book after being taken in by the wonderful production on BBC. I was greatly rewarded by a book full of history, humor, sadness, and joy told by a gifted writer. I suggest you move "Call The Midwife" to the top of your reading list.”Mike Bove wrote this review Wednesday, May 29, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Engaging storytelling and a fascinating slice of social history. This is well worth a read even if you've seen the mini-series.”StoryHeart wrote this review Friday, May 24, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The first part of a trilogy outling the lives of midwives in 1950s London East End. Sharing the triumphs of birth and the hardships of life in tenement housing, this is a stunning collection of life for women at that time period. Can't wait to read the other two books. (Kindle)”Elisha D wrote this review Saturday, May 18, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“An excellent and inspiring memoir that forms the basis of the PBS/BBC series. The author has a natural voice and her descriptions of midwifery in 1950s London's East End are compelling, evocative, honest, and heartfelt. A very fine read, indeed.”Neelthak wrote this review Monday, May 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I really enjoyed reading this. I've loved watching the television series as well, and was pleased while reading to see just how closely the series has followed the book. Completely interesting to read of London post WWII where nursing service was home based in the poorest of neighborhoods.”Kathleen S wrote this review Saturday, April 20, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“11 months before I read this book, I watched the TV-series made from it! Unfortunately, I missed the two last episodes, and thought that if I read the book, it would fill me in on what happened then. It did not! All that I read in the book, was in the TV-series first episodes so the two final ones, must be from her other books? Often a book has so much more to say, than what they can do on TV. In this case, it did not really. They kept very close to what Jennifer Worth wrote, which made the book less interesting. What really bothered me was, that at the end of the book, you have a long appendix on how to write down the cockney dialect and also one on all medical terms explained. But I felt forced to give this book four stars because what it REALLY lacks, is a good map. Inside the cover, is a map of the general area that nurse Jennifer Worth worked in, but most areas that she mentions are missing and it's there for decoration, not to find one's way! And since there are SO many road descriptions, so much mentioning about this and that area, this and that tenement, and one doesn't know what she has changed the names of and not, she really, really ought to have included a map, marking out all spots mentioned in the book. Otherwise, how can one get a pictue in one's mind of the whole thing. Do not describe streets, if they do not have a point to the story! She does say in the book that she has changed the name of the convent where she worked. Why? And where was THAT situated on the map? Do I have to send for an A-Z? But why should I have to? Besides, most of the builddings had been condemned and ordered to be pulled down, 20 years, before she worked there. One must hope that they are gone today! But I would have liked to have known, where exactly Mrs. Jenkins with the horrible work house experience lived, where Conchita that knew no English lived, where the brothel street was so one could see how far little Mary had to go to get away from her pimp and so on, and so on. Since this is a less known area to most of us that have visited London as tourists, that last bit of perfection, a detailed map, is a big piece missing.
Without having seen the TV-series, I doubt I would have understood all the technical descriptions in the book, and then I have given birth myself, EIGHT TIMES!”