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Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times | [Jennifer Worth]

Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

At the age of 22, Jennifer Worth left her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in postwar London’s East End slums. The colorful characters she met while delivering babies all over London - from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lived to the woman with 24 children who couldn't speak English to the prostitutes and dockers of the city’s seedier side - illuminate a fascinating time in history.
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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Nominee, Solo Narration - Female, 2013

At the age of 22, Jennifer Worth left her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in postwar London’s East End slums. The colorful characters she met while delivering babies all over London - from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lived to the woman with 24 children who couldn'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.

©2002 Jennifer Worth (P)2012 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"A charming tale of deliveries and deliverance." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (2485 )
5 star
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4.4 (2225 )
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4.4 (2214 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Julia Plain City, UT, United States 02-13-15
    Julia Plain City, UT, United States 02-13-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    "WOW!"
    If you could sum up Call the Midwife in three words, what would they be?

    Addictive, eye-opening, recommendable.


    Any additional comments?

    It is rare that I find a book that when finished, I want to go right back to the first page. This has easily become one of my favorite books, I have been telling everyone to read (or listen) to it. Nicola Barber's narration is fantastic, and she nailed both the cockney and Irish accents she uses at different times for the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Throuogh a Golden Eye 02-08-15

    cook, lawyer, knitter, mom, grandmom

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Extraordinary memoir"

    Tremendous story with much applicability to today as America approaches a national health plan and wrestles still with poverty. Beautifully performed, too!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Whitney Applegate 02-06-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
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    Story
    "Loved it!"

    What a great window into post-war London. The writer's descriptions of each patient firmly planted their image on my mind!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rhonda WILBERFORCE NSW, Australia 02-01-15
    Rhonda WILBERFORCE NSW, Australia 02-01-15 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
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    "As a child of the 50's"

    Loved it, like hearing about that era. Cannot help feeling so fortunate growing up in Australia.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine S. Martin Charlotte, N.C. United States 01-31-15
    Catherine S. Martin Charlotte, N.C. United States 01-31-15 Member Since 2013
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    1
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    "Loved every minute of it!!!!"

    Can't wait to read/ listen to the next
    Book. I Love the voice of the narrator the stories and the families from the East End.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather 01-19-15
    Heather 01-19-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful Story"

    The writing is delightful, graphic and depicts the time with clarity and humanity. I enjoyed listening to this book very much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa California, United States 12-30-14
    Melissa California, United States 12-30-14 Member Since 2013

    My parents told me that my very first word was...BOOK! That was no surprise to me. I have always been surrounded by books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The first of an excellent trilogy"

    A wonderful book about the author's years as a midwife and public nurse in London's East End in the 1950's. I was very much able to visualize the author's accounts of courage, joy, poverty, and despair, as well as her daily life among the nuns at Nonnatus House. Included in this book are an interesting history of the evolution of the profession of midwifery and women's health care; stories about the author's experiences delivering babies and attending to women at public health clinics; accounts of the hi jinks of the author and her friends at Nonnatus House; a very interesting and frightening story about a pregnant teenage prostitute; and a snapshot of the life of a former workhouse inmate. I gave this book five stars, but I will admit that I found some (but not all) of the tales of the ramblings of elderly Sister Monica Joan a bit boring. Thankfully, the wonderful stories more than made up for the few extra minutes of Sister Monica Joan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Earleen 12-20-14
    Earleen 12-20-14
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    "watched the movie, read the book, movie is better"

    While the vignettes in history were heartwarming, they ended up slightly flat in characterizations. I had watched the mini series and found it much more touching. The tale from an older woman's perspective worked. The audio version was pleasant but let to little introspection. Perhaps there was a little too much of thee woman's rights perspective and the some exerts read like a nursing manual. I did enjoy the book and got used to the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erin Robison 12-17-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellent Story!"
    What made the experience of listening to Call the Midwife the most enjoyable?

    The narrator did a wonderful job with voices and characters. Each chapter is another story in the memoir of the author. I enjoyed hearing more about the characters throughout the book.


    Any additional comments?

    I didn't realize that the book was a memoir, so the style caught me a little off guard. It took a few chapters to realize that although there were repeating characters throughout, each chapter should be considered as it's own story. Towards the end of the 12 hours I found myself finding reasons to finish the book when I wasn't in my car. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dara Dietz Rutherfordton, NC USA 12-16-14
    Dara Dietz Rutherfordton, NC USA 12-16-14 Member Since 2015

    Dara Dietz

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enlightening and Enjoyable"
    Where does Call the Midwife rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I consider it time well spent when I can be entertained and learn something new at the same time. This was one of those reads. Educational and Entertaining. I am unable to give 5 stars because of the graphic sexual content during one part of the story. It went on for quite a bit and was not the least enjoyable to listen to. I can enjoy a love story with the next person but this was dealing with prostitution. Very graphic and sad.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The historical detail was excellent. She does a wonderful job describing the people and surroundings. The characters are well developed.


    Have you listened to any of Nicola Barber’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No I have not.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The prostitution of a 15 years girl made me a bit sick. It was very hard to hear. That aside there were very warm and funny parts.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are wanting to learn something while being entertained this is an excellent choice. The pornographic sexual behavior is confined to one area of the book. There are no other questionable parts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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