Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy and Hard Times
Author: Jennifer Worth
Published: April 7, 2009
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
Viewers everywhere have fallen in love with this candid look at post-war London. In the 1950s, twenty-two-year-old Jenny Lee leaves her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in London’s East End slums. While delivering babies all over the city, Jenny encounters a colorful cast of women—from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lives, to the woman with twenty-four children who can’t speak English, to the prostitutes of the city’s seedier side. An unfortgettable story of motherhood, the bravery of a community, and the strength of remarkable and inspiring women, Call the Midwife is the true story behind the beloved PBS series, which will soon return for its sixth season.
I love this book! This time through was my fourth-time reading Call the Midwife. This was another of Audible’s Daily Deals and I am so glad that I got it! And specific to the audiobook, the narrator, Nicola Barber is fantastic! She has one of those voices that draws you in and is a pleasure to listen to. As for the story, Jennifer gives such amazing insight into a world that doesn’t exist anymore. And, of course, as a historian, I am all over that! Not even distant history, the East End of London in the 1950s was a fascinating place. It honestly reminds me of the rural, Southern US towns where every knows everyone else and everyone talks to everyone and you can’t walk down the street without saying hello to everyone in town. The comradery is something that our present world desperately needs and if we had it, there would be far fewer problems.
If I had the Sisters of St. Raymond Nonnatus Midwives and District Nurses in my community, then I would plan of having all my kids at home and never set foot in a hospital. But I’ve decided not to have kids because it sound horrible! Especially in this book! There are detailed accounts of childbirth in all kind of conditions and frankly, it all sounds nasty so no thank you! But, back to the sisters, they sound like such wonderful people. I am genuinely sad that I never got to meet Sister Monica Joan or Sister Julienne. Sister Monica Joan is one of those people that makes life interesting. One minute you’re angry with her for being so crotchety, the next you’re laughing at her naughty antics, the next you’re feeling sorry for her senility and frailty.
One thing that surprised me about the sisters is their flexibility. Jennifer often talks about the strictness of hospital staff with the nurses contrasted with the sisters and their sense of understanding and fun. You don’t really expect that with nuns and it was a pleasant, refreshing surprise. By the time I was finished, I felt like I actually knew the people written about in this book. I have an understanding of the Cockney people that I didn’t before. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone. This is another book I bought for my mother-in-law over a year ago and she still talks about! I believe that anyone who enjoys a good story, fun characters, hilarious situations, detailed medical issues, or history would love reading Call the Midwife.