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The Midwife Trilogy: "Call the Midwife", "Shadows of the Workhouse", "Farewell to the East End" Paperback – 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 138 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'Decades of social history in the East End of London are wonderfully evoked... powerful evocations of a lost world.' CHOICE

About the Author

Jennifer Worth was a nurse, midwife, ward sister and night sister from 1953 until 1973, working mainly in London. Her first passion was - and still is - music, and she is a Fellow of the London College of Music. She taught piano and singing for about twenty-five years and still sings in choirs all over England and Europe. She plays her piano (a 1904 Bluthner) daily, and is at present studying the entire keyboard works of J.S. Bach. She has been married for forty-five years and has two daughters and three grandchildren.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 758 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297859641
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297859642
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read "Call the Midwife" before the PBS show came about. It enthralled me so when I found out a trilogy was available, I bought it immediately. Jennifer Lee Worth is a wonderful writer. Her stories take you right into the homes she was visiting. Vivid descriptions of people, buildings, sounds, smells, daily routines and the time period kept me entranced. I did have a little trouble getting through the "workhouse" section. That was only because the writing was so compelling, I felt like I was right there with her. Reading the heartrending stories of the abjectly poor in England made me stop and gather my breath before I could continue. Many times I cried and the stories still haunt me. Her stories of how the sisters for whom she worked helped her overcome her resistance to the appalling conditions inspired me. I work with the aged and demented. The line from Sister Julienne about confused Sister Monica Joan, "It is our privilege to care for her" fills in the sometimes ravaged parts of my own heart. I highly recommend this trilogy to all women. I don't think many males would like the descriptions of birth, death, disease, poverty, filth, overcrowding and starvation. But I'm sure there are some who would find it as riveting as I. I highly recommend this trilogy.
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I have just started the first book in the trilogy, "Call the Midwife." It is very difficult to put down. The descriptive passages are evocative and beautiful and the people simply jump off the pages. A great read.
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I had forgotten so much of the fifties in London. I worked there through the fifties and sixties and the poverty in some areas was just as described. Bomb damage was still around when I emigrated to the US in 1965.
My eldest daughter was born in 1959 and although I was fortunate o go to hospital for the birth but there were no birth aids to help prolonged labour at that time. Gas and air were available sometimes if one was lucky.
I did very much enjoy reading these books, first class writing.
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Wonderfully written, authentic to the period with sufficient tensions for literary interest; I could;t put it down until I read all three books. I am not sure if there are more offerings in the series, but after a short break from the Trilogy I intend to investigate and read any I find. This could well be a bibliography recommendation for students in basic nursing education, especially in light of the changes in health care delivery today. Readers may benefit from reading more about the Eat End of London and those years. A serious book club whose members can manage more than short reads would enjoy this trilogy; although each book can stand alone, I suggest reading them in order. Regarding the vendor, the book arrived quickly and the condition was accurately described, shipping was reasonable even though a UK publication. Regarding access to the book: It is a shame that many excellent books published in the UK, and elsewhere in English-speaking countries, are not better known and more readily accessible to USA readers until they become popular and are reprinted, sometimes under different titles.
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This is a book that is hard to put down. Jennifer Worth's writing is fascinating, with her vignettes about real people living in difficult situations. It is amazing that more is not known of the very important, sometimes heroic work of the midwifes. Ms Worth never demeans her patients, but tells it like it was.
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so wonderful to learn the details behind the stories - intimate look at human nature, survival, dignity and love! I found myself laughing and crying plus was often lost in my own experiences in the midwest during the 60's as a young single urban public health nurse (without universal health care).
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I loved this TV show first and then decided to get the books and so far they are great. Its really interesting to know that these stories that were in the show are true and the books go into more detail which is what I like.
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I trained as a nurse in that area in the early 60's when conditions were beginning to change. The living conditions of the Cockneys was appalling but they are a wonderful and upbeat people. The books were well written and were both heartbreaking and inspiring. I would recommend reading them, Jennifer Worth is good writer and brings things to light.
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