Tag: non fiction

Shadows of the Workhouse by Jennifer Worth

Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Workhouse
Author: Jennifer Worth
Published: June 30, 2008
Audible

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

In this follow up to CALL THE MIDWIFE, Jennifer Worth, a midwife working in the docklands area of East London in the 1950s tells more stories about the people she encountered.

There’s Jane, who cleaned and generally helped out at Nonnatus House – she was taken to the workhouse as a baby and was allegedly the illegitimate daughter of an aristocrat. Peggy and Frank’s parents both died within 6 months of each other and the children were left destitute. At the time, there was no other option for them but the workhouse. The Reverend Thornton-Appleby-Thorton, a missionary in Africa, visits the Nonnatus nuns and Sister Julienne acts as matchmaker. And Sister Monica Joan, the eccentric ninety-year-old nun, is accused of shoplifting some small items from the local market. She is let off with a warning, but then Jennifer finds stolen jewels from Hatton Garden in the nun’s room.

These stories give a fascinating insight into the resilience and spirit that enabled ordinary people to overcome their difficulties.

Kim’s Review:

Jennifer Worth is so good at portraying history in a way that helps you visualize it all happening. As a historian, there are some problems I have with her revelations . . . it’s hard to write about what another person is thinking when you weren’t there, but her storytelling methods are sound and effective.

This book focused more on the district nurses’ side of things in the East End of London. Learning about individuals who actually lived in the workhouses was fascinating. I am so jealous that she got to talk and interact with these people; I would give my right arm to have been able to meet them!

The long-term effect that the workhouses had on society astounded me. Older people refused to go to hospitals simply because those buildings used to be workhouses, all nearly thirty years since the workhouses closed! And my favorite figure in this collection of stories is old Mr. Collett. He was a war hero and a sweet, lonely old gentleman. The relationship that Jenny develops with him is heartwarming and informative and I found myself in tears when she wrote of his death. I absolutely recommend this as an educational tool in high school classrooms and to anyone who is interested in honest history.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

 

 

Devotion Review: Loved Baby

October is National Infant and Pregnancy Loss Month. I have not experienced a loss as this, but earlier in the year I read and reviewed a devotion written by Sarah Philpott to help women that have experienced this loss. Today I choose to share this review with you as today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day . Thank you to Broadstreet Publishing for my copy I was sent via NetGalley.

Loved Baby: 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child after Pregnancy Loss
Author:  Sarah Philpot

Published: October 1, 2017
176 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 24-27th 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

At the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference on May 24, 2018, Loved Baby received Selah Awards for Nonfiction Book of the Year and Best Book in the category of Inspiration and Gift.

Close to one in four American women experience the silent grief of pregnancy loss. Loved Baby offers much-needed support to women in the middle of psychological and physiological grief as a result of losing an unborn child.

In Loved Baby, author Sarah Philpott gently walks alongside women as they experience the misguided shame, isolation, and crushing despair that accompany the turmoil of loss. With brave vulnerability Sarah shares her own and others’ stories of loss, offering Christ-filled hope and support to women navigating grief.

This fresh and compassionate devotional offers:
·       Real talk about loss
·       Christ-filled comfort
·       Tips to manage social media, reconnect with your partner, and nourish your soul
·       Knowledge that your child is in heaven
·       Strategies to walk through grief
·       Ways to memorialize your loss

Whether your loss is recent or not, Loved Baby can be your companion as you move from the darkness of grief toward the light of hope.

Jessica’s Review:

Firstly, I want to say I have not experienced a loss such as this so I cannot identify with who this devotion was written for. That is not saying I should not have read it. In fact, I am glad I did. I know many who have experienced pregnancy loss and now I feel I understand their loss better. I will never 100% understand this loss as I do not have children and more than likely won’t.

Sarah Philpott has written a 31 day Christian devotional to the women who have experienced various types of pregnancy loss: miscarriage, still birth, and ectopic pregnancies.  She wrote the devotional directly to the Mommy and she also shares her story of pregnancy loss and others share their stories as well. Philpott talks about the various changes one will go through medically and also the wide range of emotions that will be experienced. She also aims to help guide the mommy with spiritual changes.

There is also a devotion about the fathers, as they experienced the loss and grieve as well; there is a devotion about other children that the reader may have.  There are also devotions about honoring your due date, how you may feel afterwards if you want to try for another child or not.  There is also a devotion in regards to adoption or deciding to live a child free life.

Philpott includes Bible verses from a various versions of the Bible.  She has a section of each devotion called Soul Work to apply what the devotion was about. Each devotion ends with prayer time.  The last devotion is for the Mommy to share her story and cherish the baby she lost.

This is a devotion that should be completed.  I can see it bringing comfort to women. There will be a wide range of emotions and a great many tears as this devotion is completed. Philpott put her heart and soul into this devotion and her love for the mommies out there is felt and seen.

Bravo for a fabulous devotion to help the mommies that have gone through pregnancy loss, be it recent or from years ago.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


I want to share a site that might be helpful to both moms and those who have faced this type of loss.  The site is ThinkBaby.org

Before you go jumping to conclusions, yes this is a site for moms, but they also feature a Fertility section:
Fertility Resources
Fertility Stories

One of the Founders of ThinkBaby.org, Zoe, shares her fertility story here.

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Blog Blitz: The Little Gate-Crasher

Today I am one of the blogs sharing my review for the blog blitz for The Little Gate-Crasher: The Life and Photos of Mace Bugen by Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer.

Book Description:

Mace Bugen might have been an achondroplastic dwarf, 43 inches tall with an average size head and torso set on small, twisted legs—but that didn’t mean he was an idiot or a pushover. In truth, he was smarter than most; over the years, he learned to effectively turn what society in those days called a handicap into a powerful tool he could use to his advantage.

“When I was a kid,” he once said, “I’d ask myself, Why is that guy on the football team? Why can’t I be on the team? Why didn’t God give me the height so I could be the hero?”

“Then at some point I figured it out: I gotta do something special to let ’em know I’m me.”

In The Little Gate Crasher: The Life And Photos Of Mace BugenI remember my amazing great-Uncle Mace Bugen through his journey as a first-generation Jewish-American kid in working class Philipsburg, NJ to becoming the first celebrity selfie-artist—way ahead of his time.

Featuring vintage photos of Mace with his exploits, The Little Gate Crasher captures three decades of American pop culture, seen through the unique lens of Mace and his gate-crashing exploits.

Underneath his antics, we meet a complex man who continually defies others expectations and meets life on his own terms. Mace becomes a successful businessman and devoted son to his aging parents. But in his gate-crashing antics, we best get to see Mace’s unique combination of guile, cunning and sense of entitlement, which he used to engineer photos of himself with some of the biggest celebrities of his day. If people were going to stare at him all of his life, he would give them something to see.

The Little Gate Crasher features over 50 vintage photos of Mace with celebrities, athletes and politicians, including Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Muhammed Ali, Richard Nixon, Jane Russel, Joe DiMaggio and more.


The Little Gate Crasher: The Life and Photos of Mace Bugen
Author: Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer
Published: April 18, 2016
110 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: August 26, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Jessica’s Review:

You see a picture of Mace Bugen and think “I know him from somewhere!” He’s one of those faces you won’t forget, and not just because of his size.  Mace was an achondroplastic dwarf who did not let his small stature get the best of him, instead of blaming his height, he accepted it!  His size was the equivalent to a four year old. He was ahead of his time taking what we now know of as selfies with some of the biggest celebrities, politicians and sports figures  of his time! Sometimes the celebrities were willing participants; sometimes the pictures are blurry in his creative ‘photo-bomb’ attempts to get photos. He even got a photo with Former President Nixon and the man who would later develop the polio vaccine: Dr. Jonas Salk.

This book is more than just a picture book of a man with celebrities: we learn about him, his family (which includes the author) and his life in this biography.  The author, Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer is his great-niece and she put her heart and soul into this book. Mace may have been short in stature but his personality and antics were larger than life. This should be a book everyone should have, it would make a perfect coffee table book.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US

Amazon UK


Moishe Morris “Mace” Bugen
June 12, 1915- October 31, 1982

About the Author:


Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer is an experienced educator, author and speaker. At Jewish Learning Venture, she works as Director of Whole Community Inclusion and leads disability awareness programs for the Philadelphia Jewish community. Her most recent book The Little Gate Crasher, a memoir of her Great-Uncle, who overcame society’s prejudices about dwarfism to lead a remarkable life, was one of the national book selections for 2017 Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month. Gabby writes for and edits The New York Jewish Week’s The New Normal: Blogging Disability and is also a featured Philly parenting blogger for WHYY’s newsworks. Gabby holds a B.F.A. in theatre and creative writing from Emerson College and an M.A. in Jewish Studies from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

Contact Gabrielle:
Website
Twitter @gabkaplanmayer

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