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Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Workhouse (The Midwife Trilogy Book 2) by [Worth, Jennifer]
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Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Workhouse (The Midwife Trilogy Book 2) Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Barber delivers all the author’s compassion, frustration, and humor in a genuine, convincing manner. . . . A moving and memorable account of a special time and place.”
      —AudioFile



“The quality and pacing of the audio is excellent. The narrator, Nicola Barber, is a perfect match for the memoir and vividly recounts the hardships and poverty that Worth encountered during that time.”
      —Library Journal

About the Author

Jennifer Worth trained as a nurse at the Royal Berk-shire Hospital in Reading, and was later ward sister at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital in London, then the Marie Curie Hospital, also in London. Music had always been her passion, and in 1973 she left nursing in order to study music intensively, teaching piano and singing for about twenty-five years. Jennifer died in May 2011 after a short illness, leaving her husband, Philip; two daughters; and three grandchildren. Her books have all been bestsellers in England.


Product Details

  • File Size: 988 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; Reprint edition (January 22, 2013)
  • Publication Date: January 22, 2013
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009UWRTH6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,164 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In her first book, Jennifer Worth introduced us to the life of a midwife in London's East End in the 1950's, and in this second book, we take up the stories of some secondary characters from the first book (Jane, Frank & Peggy, and Sister Monica Joan) as well as the story of an old soldier by the name of Joseph Collett. This book contains much less of Worth's own experiences and more of the stories of others that she encountered while working as a midwife. Some of the stories within have more to do with the institutional workhouse than others, but most have some connection thereto. I enjoyed the layout of the stories, logically arranged into three parts and appreciated the author's reflective, non-judgmental voice throughout the telling never condemning a person for actions or choices that were clearly a product of the times and the situations people found themselves in. Wonderful read and an excellent continuation of the first book in this series!
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Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading this book and I can say I loved it! It was painfully hard to read in many parts, especially parts about brutality towards children. the story needs to be told though, even the hardest parts because we have to acknowledge what a painful time this was and how not to repeat these mistakes.
there are several different stories throughout. All interwoven. All painful and joyful.

if you like to see into peoples lives and hear their stories, this is the books for you. Amazing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you are thinking of picking up Shadows of the Workhouse because you've seen the BBC series and or read a Memoir of Birth Joy and Hard times, don't expect it to be the same. This book is clearly less a memoir than an extrapolation of stories she heard and gathered while working as a midwife. There are details she clearly could not know presented as fact and there is not much at all about being a midwife. I did enjoy the portion about Joe the ex-military gentleman with ulcers on his legs (presented in the BBC series), but overall it doesn't measure up to the original Call the Midwife book.
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Format: Paperback
'Shadows of the Workhouse' is a brilliant memoir by Jennifer Worth that carries on her story of working as a nurse in the East End in the 1950s which began in her first installment, 'Call the Midwife.' Her descriptions of hardships endured by those who were forced to enter the workhouses near the turn of the century are heart-wrenching. Though she points out that in terms of social welfare they were well ahead of their time, that doesn't change anything for those people who suffered under the system. The first section especially focuses on people she encountered who grew up in the workhouse system. I found it curious that the second section centered on a woman who had never entered the workhouse, though she would have worked with people who were its victims. The third, and final, section tells the story of a man who entered the workhouse only in his old age after it was converted into a home for the elderly. Therefore, the title is somewhat misleading, but the stories are still amazing.

The story of Jane, Frank, and Peggy growing up in the workhouse together, and the long-term emotional effects that it had on them was full of emotional highs and lows. The reader cheers for their successes and cries for them when they are hurt. This story was the most relevant to the author's theme of the effects of the workhouse on those who were still alive two decades after they were officially closed. (Officially only because it would be impossible to just release thousands of poor people into the streets, so the workhouses carried on under other names with only slightly improved conditions for decades.) After this third of the book, I was ready to give it five stars.

The second portion of the book tells the story of Sister Monica Joan being on trial.
Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an amazing book and very well written. I could not put it down!The workhouses of early last century and before, were terrible places.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If this book had been published as a separate, stand-alone piece, I would've had no problem with it. By itself, it's quite interesting, if a bit disturbing at times. It tells the story of a number of unfortunate people who ended up in workhouses, the misguided Victorian solution for extreme poverty. These stories are engaging, haunting, and told in heartbreaking detail. However, it was labeled as one of the "Call the Midwife" books and in that respect, I was extremely disappointed. I bought the entire Midwife trilogy after reading the first book, which was filled with anecdotes about pregnancy and birthing in the 1950s. What a letdown to find that the second book did not focus on midwifery!

It's still a good book, just not what I was expecting. (Thankfully, the third book in the Midwife series returns to the topic of pregnancy and birthing.) If you enjoy firsthand stories of what life was like between the 1890s and the 1950s, with a focus on poverty and the horrific conditions of the workhouses, you might like this book. It's well-written and fascinating to read. Just don't go into it expecting midwifery, because there's precious little to be found. Also, you should be aware that it deals with subjects that some might find disturbing or even triggering, such as incest and acts of extreme brutality.

Three stars, because while I was disappointed with the lack of midwifery and the disturbing scenes, it was still an interesting read. Recommended, but proceed with caution.
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