June 19, 2015

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth

Publication date: August 29, 2012
Number of pages: 352
Genre: Memoir
Series: Midwife Trilogy #1

An unforgettable story of the joy of motherhood, the bravery of a community, and the hope of one extraordinary woman

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

What did I think about the story:
I really enjoyed this book. My daughter and I also watch this TV show on PBS and have enjoyed it. The author broke the stories up so that each chapter was a story which made the book very easy to read.  Although there were times I found myself wanting more of the story or more history of the nuns that she lived with. The author has so many stories to tell from her experiences as a midwife and let me tell you  that some of them are so strange that you may find yourself shaking your head. I will be getting the second book to read in the very near future. 

What did I think of the cover:
I have the version shown above and I like it because as I said before I am a fan of the TV show. The characters are well known to me now and I like how this covers shows many of them. 

My rating: 
5 Stars

About the author:
Worth, born Jennifer Lee while her parents were on holiday in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, was raised in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. After leaving school at the age of 14, she learned shorthand and typing and became the secretary to the head of Dr Challoner's Grammar School. She then trained as a nurse at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, and moved to London to receive training to become a midwife.

Lee was hired as a staff nurse at the London Hospital in Whitechapel in the early 1950s. With the Sisters of St John the Divine, an Anglican community of nuns, she worked to aid the poor. She was then a ward sister at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital in Bloomsbury, and later at the Marie Curie Hospital in Hampstead.

She married the artist Philip Worth in 1963, and they had two daughters.

Worth retired from nursing in 1973 to pursue her musical interests. In 1974, she received a licentiate of the London College of Music, where she taught piano and singing. She obtained a fellowship in 1984. She performed as a soloist and with choirs throughout Britain and Europe. 

She later began writing, and her first volume of memoirs, 'Call the Midwife', was published in 2002. The book became a bestseller when it was reissued in 2007. 'Shadows of the Workhouse' (2005; reissued 2008) and 'Farewell to the East End' (2009) also became bestsellers. The trilogy sold almost a million copies in the UK alone. In a fourth volume of memoirs 'In the Midst of Life', published in 2010, Worth reflects on her later experiences caring for the terminally ill.

Worth was highly critical of Mike Leigh's 2004 film Vera Drake, for depicting the consequences of illegal abortions unrealistically. She argued that the method shown in the movie, far from being fairly quick and painless, was in fact almost invariably fatal to the mother.

Worth died on 31 May 2011, having been diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus earlier in the year.

Midwife Trilogy:
#1 Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy and Hard Times
#2 Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Workhouse
#3 Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End

No comments:

Post a Comment