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Summary

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.

©2007 Jennifer Worth (P)2008 Orion Publishing Group

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Abridged to the point of absurdity

The Audible version misses out huge swathes of Jennifer Worth's original story. It would be more accurate to call it "Half of Call The Midwife".

12 people found this helpful

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LOVED IT!

If you could sum up Call the Midwife in three words, what would they be?

heartfelt, humanitarian, funny.

Which character – as performed by Stephanie Cole – was your favourite?

I found Stephanie's narration fantastic. all the characters were brought to life with warmth and compassion, especially Sister Evangelina. The cockney banter is lovely.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

10 years hard labour

Any additional comments?

highly recommended.

4 people found this helpful

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Missing chapters!

I own the printed book and it has significantly more chapters than this audio version. The book itself is excellent but this version is missing a big chunk right from the middle. It is not listed as abridged so I expected better.

2 people found this helpful

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Call the Midwife. Informative and moving book

True factual history of life before the Dawn of the NHS in 1948. The year I was born to a young Mother in London who had run away from the Vallies in S.Wales. Had my birth been any sooner well I might not be here today.
A very well written book.
The account of life in the slums of the East end
of London. For anyone thinking that there life was tough read this book and thank Heaven
and all that is.. that the Workhouses have been
abolished. That young children are cared for by a welfare state. Profoundly moving book.

2 people found this helpful

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Call the Midwife

Very disappointed wrong narrator for this book her voice was too harsh for this type of book.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant book

brilliant book enjoyed it as much as I have watching the TV series too. Can't wait for next episode on Sunday

1 person found this helpful

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Outstanding courage

Fantastic true accounts of courage, sadness,life and death and an insight into the squalid and over crowded housing of yesteryear....Onto book 2 now...Shadows of the workhouse.

1 person found this helpful

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great story

first book i loved it if you close your eyes you can see the characters

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Eye opening

Loved it and truly eye opening. Living in Poplar this lit up its history.

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I saw my Mother in these pages

I loved this book, I came to it after being hooked on the tv series. The book did not disappoint. I came to it as an insider, my mother was an Irish student nurse in the war and stayed on after the war to practice midwifery in Glasgow.
I felt I was reading about my Mother, it was in her time, and the anecdotal nature of the story telling is typical of working nurses. My Mother’s best friend was a nurse and reading the book was like listening to my Mum and her friend talking about their lives.
I can see this as a book I will go back to time and time again, when I need to restore my faith in human kindness, selflessness, love and dare I say it everyday Saintliness.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-01-20

Enjoy!

This is a heartwarming, emotional story, written and read in an empathic and witty way. It brought me to tears (and laughter) several times and leaves me touched by all the characters. I wish I could thank Jennifer Worth for sharing this with me.

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  • Marija
  • 27-01-19

Beatifully written and narrated!

This book is a life- changer. I have watched the series and just could not let go of the sisters and nurses of the Nonnatus house- and indeed the book has proved itself just as endearing and beautiful. Currently starting on book 2.