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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 (1435 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-29-14
    ratings
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    24
    4
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    Story
    "Better than the TV series"
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the Midwives series on Netflix so I decided to give the audible version a try. It was great! Much more detail than the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lindsay Denver, CO, United States 08-13-14
    Lindsay Denver, CO, United States 08-13-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Wonderful memoir"
    What made the experience of listening to Call the Midwife the most enjoyable?

    The narrator. Her voice was wonderful. Her accent was lovely, and the sound of her voice and narration was really enjoyable to listen to. The stories were really fascinating too.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked that the author gave us a peak into a lifestyle I had no idea even existed. The stories were a great look into these lives that never really get much recognition. What was my favorite aspect of these stories was how the author was so foreign to this lifestyle, but as she got to know the people better, she started to really appreciate them and see them for who they really are.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    It's really difficult to pick one. Perhaps the story about Conchita and her premature delivery. It is fascinating to hear the details about this complicated delivery and how the mother cared for this premature baby. What was also very interesting was to hear about how much care for preemies has changed since these times.


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

    While I didn't listen to it in one sitting, I looked forward to listening to it each time. Since it is broken into short stories, it was one that was conducive for listening to in intervals.


    Any additional comments?

    If you've watched the show, and you enjoyed it at all, then give this book a go. What I really enjoyed is that the book goes much more into detail about the characters and their backstories. You get to learn more about these women they treat and how they have come to live these lives. It was really fascinating. You learn that people are often products of their situations, and sometimes people have to go through a lot more than we can even imagine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hilary 08-07-14
    Hilary 08-07-14 Member Since 2009
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    "The James Herriot of East End midwifery."
    Where does Call the Midwife rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    An absolute revelation to me, all of it. The history of the East End and of midwifery in England. The stories about the workhouses were harrowing. And all of it told with great good humor and humility. The characterizations are delightful and the vignettes often profound. So much better than the television adaptation, which was tidied up and made much more conventional and far less affecting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mom of 8 08-02-14
    Mom of 8 08-02-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Excellent!! But not for my children"
    What made the experience of listening to Call the Midwife the most enjoyable?

    This was a wonderful performance of a wonderful book. I cannot say enough positive about the reader--she was so very enjoyable to listen to. I also loved the book. However, I had intended to let my teenagers listen to it, but I am glad I listened first. It is definitely not appropriate for youth, especially the part that very explicitly describes horrible prostitution performances and acts. That part was very X rated and I am surprised it was included in this book.
    But overall it was a great book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sheerheart 08-01-14
    sheerheart 08-01-14 Member Since 2014
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    7
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    "Better than the TV Series"
    Would you listen to Call the Midwife again? Why?

    Most likely. I absolutely love listening to Nicola Barber!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It would have to be Jenny Lee. I love the unexpected theme realized at the end by her character about faith. She struggled with the same things that young women of today still have trouble with, even if this was 60 years ago!


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

    Chummy


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

    Due to the length, I don't think that would be possible. But I thoroughly enjoyed listening to each separate story.


    Any additional comments?

    If you read this first before watching the TV series, you will be disappointed that in the first episode it is about Conchita's last birth. That kind of put a bad taste in my mouth with that. But it still is a good show.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    margie 07-16-14
    margie 07-16-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Informative"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Call the Midwife to be better than the print version?

    I watched this series on television so it was easy for me to picture the charcatures. It was informative of the time period and I learned somethings I would have never imagined, as in Doctors being trained by mid-wifes on how to birth babies.


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

    She made the people come to life.


    Any additional comments?

    Not the best book I've listened to all year, but it was very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Michigan 07-02-14
    Barbara Michigan 07-02-14 Member Since 2013

    A Bookworm. Interested in all sorts of good books.

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    32
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    "First class"
    What made the experience of listening to Call the Midwife the most enjoyable?

    Very well written and interesting story. I found the memoirs very heartwarming and humorous in places.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Sister Monica. The nun was a character literally.


    What about Nicola Barber’s performance did you like?

    She was a clear and pleasant voice


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

    I did, but it is longer than I would want to sit and listen to at one time.


    Any additional comments?

    The whole series is well done

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daisy25 06-28-14
    Daisy25 06-28-14 Member Since 2014
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    3
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    "Very Interesting Listen"
    Any additional comments?

    A friend recommended this book based upon how much she enjoys the television series - I had never even heard of it, but it sounded interesting so I thought I would give it a try. Very interesting listen! Almost a documentary told through vignettes. .. a fascinating glimpse into the world of midwives working in London during the mid-20th century.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janie Boise, Idaho United States 06-27-14
    Janie Boise, Idaho United States 06-27-14 Member Since 2001
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    "Good story, not so well written"
    Would you listen to Call the Midwife again? Why?

    No, the book doesn't flow well. The stories told jump from a summary type to details and flutter back and forth as well as past, present and future. The transitions could have been SO much smoother.


    Has Call the Midwife turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Fresno, CA, United States 06-24-14
    David Fresno, CA, United States 06-24-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Enchanting, compelling, wonderful, true story."
    What made the experience of listening to Call the Midwife the most enjoyable?

    Oh my.! I loved this book. I've read hundreds, probably thousands of books, but this was one of the best. Don't miss this series (I read all three, and they're all great. A memoir, Jennifer Worth describes the most interesting people living in the dockside area of London in the 1950's. I suppose this book would appeal to women more, but I (as a man) could not put the book down. The wonderful English dialect is great to listen to. Give yourself a treat, and buy all three of these books.


    What other book might you compare Call the Midwife to and why?

    A unique book. A little Dickensian, but really it's a unique memoir.


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

    Jennifer Lee (Jennifer Worth)


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

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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