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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 (2432 )
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4.4 (2164 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Heather 01-19-15
    Heather 01-19-15
    ratings
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    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.

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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
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    8
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    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
  •  
    Eleanor 12-05-14
    Eleanor 12-05-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Greatly expresses the messy beauty of childbirth"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. It was a fascinating read/listen that was also a little empowering as a woman.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Call the Midwife?

    There were many but the two most memorable for me were when a mother manages to help her baby survive when doctors didn't think it was possible and when a young mother is forced to give up her baby and basically loses her mind because of it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    runnerpaul Shelby Twp. MI 12-04-14
    runnerpaul Shelby Twp. MI 12-04-14 Member Since 2014

    Irun2curenf

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    "A Great Book and a Great Narrator!"
    What did you love best about Call the Midwife?

    How the book flowed, the content, and the great job the narrator did reading it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Call the Midwife?

    The delivery of the premature baby and how it was cared for by the mother rather than in hospital.


    Which character – as performed by Nicola Barber – was your favorite?

    This is a difficult question to answer as I loved all the characters of the book.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, it was. I found myself quite happy when I ended up in traffic jams as it meant I could listen to more of this book.


    Any additional comments?

    I liked the television series, and as I spend 3 hours a work day commuting I bought this audio book to add to my collection.
    Being a guy I was not sure if I would enjoy this book, but how wrong were my concerns! I laughed at times almost cried at times.
    This book does cover subjects that may concern some readers but these subjects are true to life and needed to be in the book.
    I will certainly being listening to this book again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Plato, MO, United States 12-03-14
    Amy Plato, MO, United States 12-03-14
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    "Wonderfully Historical and Whitty"
    Any additional comments?

    Although this is biographical and historical it is extremely well written and entertaining while also being very inormative. It is amazing how different midwifery and obstetrics was then and how the environment plays such an important role in our lives. I can't wait to listen to the other "Call the Midwife" books. Narration was excellent too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracey Grow 11-27-14
    Tracey Grow 11-27-14 Member Since 2014
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    4
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    Story
    "This PG13 book becomes R rated at times"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Call the Midwife to be better than the print version?

    the audio version is very well done


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    the interesting human stories are very interesting. Of most interest is the information about the history of midwifery. Of least importance is the meticulous pornographic details of prostitution.


    What does Nicola Barber bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her expressions and character interpretations are great


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

    yes I did cry and laugh.


    Any additional comments?

    I would like to see books rated for content. I was forced to skip through one section of the book because of the nasty content that was really not necessary to the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Edmond, OK, United States 10-21-14
    Amazon Customer Edmond, OK, United States 10-21-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Utterly Adored"
    Would you listen to Call the Midwife again? Why?

    Yes. Even after watching the show and listening to the audio book, Call the Midwife has replay power that make it easy to pick up at any time.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes!


    Any additional comments?

    I like that the stories of many of her patients had some follow up. I also liked that each nun had more of a story than was depicted in the show. I plan to get the second book as soon as I have credits.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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