Written by Jennifer Worth, Farewell to the East Endis one of the trilogy of memoirs upon which the popular BBC series Call the Midwifeis based.
London's East End in the 1950s was a vibrant place-a close-knit community of families where children made playgrounds on bombsites and a lively social scene emerged. It was into this world that Jennifer Worth entered as a young midwife. Post-war life could be a struggle, but there was also warmth and humour. Farewell to the East End chronicles the lives, culture and stores of a bygone era.
©2010 Jennifer Worth (P)2010 Oakhill Publishing Ltd
"A sad farewell but a memorable and satisfying send-off." (Daily Express)
I have given this book a rating of five stars, it was my first Jennifer Worth and I simply can not wait to hear / read more after finishing Farewell To The East End. Very funny, emotional and completely captivating, brilliantly written, I was gripped throughout. This one is nice and easy to follow so good to listen to whilst doing other things like knitting or following a pattern, the characters are nicely portrayed so it was easy to connect with them and get a real sense of each persons story within this book. Really love the way each chapter develops, a good read, definitely recommended. The rarator: Saskia Butler, has done a fantastic job bringing the story to life, really like her voice which made for a very good experience listening to this one.
Didn't read the details properly so I thought this was "Call the Midwife".
Nevertheless it was very good. Not so much about the work of the midwives but more about the setting in which they were working, the views of the time and the living conditions of their ladies.
As a midwife myself I much enjoyed listening to the minutiae of midwifery in the fifties. However, the mispronunciation of many of the obstetric/midwifery terms was irritating to say the least. On a few occasions I only realised what the word was because of the context. But despite this It was a jolly good listen.
The author and narrator made the medical situations accessible and interesting. The book lacked consistency in parts and was more a series of anecdotes than a chronological story with character development, and there was no actual plot as a result. Having said that, in places I was laughing, in other places I was shocked, sickened and saddened. Overall, interesting and enjoyable.
If you are a fan of the TV series, you might be disappointed by this other version of your favourite characters. Otherwise this is mostly a good listen, in particular the sections about the history of TB and the medical details of the midwifery and nursing (which are sadly lacking in the series).
The performance is mostly good, but spoiled a little by some errors - 'Bobby on the heat' for example, instead of 'beat'. Also the reader's accents for different characters are a little grating; particularly Trixie's slightly mockney accent (especially as the nurses are described in the book as Middle class, this seems particularly incongruous).
Also note that there are also far fewer happy outcomes in this more truthful account than the televised version, so if you are looking for fun and a happy ending, this may not be for you.
Lovely stories, time well spent.
The help, story about real people.
clear, changeable and interesting
No, there are plenty of stories in the one book.
Not my usual thing but very touching
Sister Monica was wonderful.
Shame the television series was so sanitised
I struggled to finish this book. But it was entirely because of the reader. Stephanie Cole reads the abridged version of Call the Midwife so excellently which i listened to first, so that this reader just irritated me.
"A Brilliant Book"
This is the third book in the trilogy by Jennifer Worth on her life as a midwife in the East End of London in the 1950's. After being hooked on the BBC adaptation of her first book, Call the Midwife, I have devoured what I can find of her writings, and she does not disappoint.
But I must emphasise that it is not a book for the faint-hearted! Most of the stories are sad, but she writes the accounts in such a way with humour sprinkled liberally throughout the book, that somehow you don't mind the sadness, and the characters you meet are filled to the brim with life, with all with the sweetness, brutality, stoicism, fortitude and love that comes with the desperately poor conditions Jennifer was working among. It is the stuff of real life.
Her writings on this period in history is an education as well in a time of English history that is not so glittering, and Worth deals with many of the social issues that are not so widely talked about such as back-street abortions, suicide, infanticide and prostitution - so it is not a 'light' read, but I enjoyed it because of the richness of characters and the interesting lives and stories weaved around those lives, and found myself many times with tears on my face, or laughing out loud.
I loved the ending because she gives a brief summary of the lives of the nurses she worked with and what happened to them. Chummy, Cynthia, Trixie, the Nuns and herself. There are no loose ends at the finish, and I find that very satisfying when you have come to love the main characters.
You will run the gamut of emotions in this brilliant book.
"interesting but disjointed compared to first two"
still found this very interesting however it felt much more disjointed than the previous books. nothing really related to anything else. still lots of interesting things just less of a story more of a random history book.
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