The Midwife

The Midwife

A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

Book - 2009
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An unforgettable true story, The Midwife is the basis for the hit PBS drama Call the Midwife

At the age of twenty-two, Jennifer Worth leaves her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in post war London's East End slums. The colorful characters she meets while delivering babies all over London-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 and dockers of the city's seedier side-illuminate a fascinating time in history. Beautifully written and utterly moving, The Midwife will touch the hearts of anyone who is, and everyone who has, a mother.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2009
Edition: Rev. ed
ISBN: 9780143116233
Characteristics: 340 p. ; 21 cm


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Feb 20, 2016

Absolutely loved the book!!! So interesting, funny, sad, shocking and informative. Highly recommended!

Jun 04, 2015

The first in a trilogy of books comprising the memoir of the author, who worked as a mid-wife in the poorer parts of London after WWII and the basis of the PBS series, Call the Midwife. Excellent in every way. The TV series appears to be fairly faithful to the book, at least this first volume.

Jan 22, 2015

I also felt the book was better than the TV series. It gave you a good insight into life in the East End of London during the early 50ties. Life was hard and poverty rampant. Makes one realize just how lucky we are in this day and age and the things we simply take for granted.

A good educational read and well written.

Sep 27, 2014

I really loved the TV series which is why I wanted to read this book. This book is not for the squeamish......As I trained to be a midwife in England in the 1960's the clinical descriptions did not bother me but the graphic descriptions of prostitution and what occurs in the brothels I found very disturbing. She could have left a lot of this out of the book.

mvkramer Mar 03, 2014

The atmosphere of the period is conveyed wonderfully, as are the nuns, patients and nurses that the author spent her life as midwife with. The only thing I wish is that there was more to this book! Especially because the author mentions at several points being in unrequited love with an older man but never says who he is or what happened. Frustrating!

Jan 23, 2014

The book is much better than the BBC dramatization. Since it's from the perspective of the author as a adult, while the TV show recreates her impressions as a young middle class woman. The complete lack of class prejudice of the mature author is one of the best aspects of the book.

Bibliothekarin_1 Oct 02, 2013

Wonderful stories that transport the reader to a different and place.

Aug 22, 2012

Wonderful read - could hardly put it down and I fully agree with all the other comments that have been made. A real must read for any one brought up in England in the 1950's.

Aug 11, 2012

So so good! It continually amazed me that Worth was talking about a fairly recent past and not hundreds of years ago. Wonderfully written account of providing health care to the very needy.

Jul 14, 2012

An uplifting story of life in London in the 50's. Not all the stories ended well but all told a story of poverty, hope and the human spirit.

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mvkramer Mar 03, 2014

Sexual Content: One chapter - "Cable Street" contains a very graphic scene of prostitution. Like, so graphic it's hard to believe. I don't think this was gratuitous, the author does want to give us the unvarnished truth after all, but younger or more sensitive readers might want to skip that chapter.


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