Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth
If I had read it, I think this one would have been tapped as the “great read” and Babycatcher relegated to the additional reads section.
Worth’s memoir is powerful and captivating. It’s heartwarming at times, but also heartbreaking. The characters she describe come to life, as does the setting in London’s East End.
I adore history books as well as memoirs, and this is kind of the best of both – Worth’s stories are so much what she experienced that they’re clearly a memoir, but she is so good at describing the environment and how things have changed that it is a terrific history of this part of London during those years.
If you’re sensitive to the gross bits of life, the book is not for the squeamish. If you’re sensitive to patients dying, well, that happens. If you’re sensitive to the cruel blows that life can deal, well, there are some particularly horrifying ones described.
There are three more books by Worth, continuing her story as she works among the East Enders. I’ll try and read them eventually, but right now my heart needs to recover from the wrenches Worth gave it.
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, Call the Midwife will touch the hearts of anyone who is, and everyone who has, a mother.
Title: Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times
Author: Jennifer Worth
My Rating: 4 Stars