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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 (2188 )
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4.4 (1957 )
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4.4 (1948 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Monika 07-15-13
    Monika 07-15-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Wasn't sure about the hype"

    But really enjoyed the story immensely. I fell in love with the families, the nuns and the midwives.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 05-21-13
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 05-21-13 Member Since 2008

    Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enjoyed the book after watching the series"

    I enjoyed watching the TV series and the book was great, too. I think the narrator did a commendable job and I don't have an complaints about her.

    The author paints a very vivid picture of childbirth and midwifery in mid 20th century England, and it seems we certainly have come a long way since then. Her experiences with the birthing mothers, their families, and particularly the nuns make for delightful stories.

    I would recommend both the book and the series.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A 05-03-13
    A 05-03-13 Member Since 2013

    Love to read. Mysteries, history, romance, biography, current events, science, classic fiction. No vampires. No zombies. No self-help. Find me on GoodReads and BookLikes.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ""..slice of social history.""

    My sister told me, "You have got to see "Call the Midwife. It's available to stream. Get it." So I got it and I was hooked from the get-go. Then I saw the book on Audible and decided to get it even though I tend to avoid reading the book when I've seen movies --and the movie if I've read the book. Glad I broke the rules.

    I read one description of the book as "misery memoir meets a fascinating slice of social history"** and this description has stuck with me as the almost perfect description of this book. The book is much more detailed in ways that a movie never can be but I have to admit that by the time I got to the end I was ready to put the book down. The author had long since made her point, I thought, and it was starting to get repetitive.



    (**Sorry I can't credit the source because I am not sure of it.)

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tammy 03-19-13
    Tammy 03-19-13 Member Since 2008
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    "disappointed"
    Would you try another book from Jennifer Worth and/or Nicola Barber?

    No, i thought the reader was rather slow and it made it drag. I have watched some of the series and thought it had much more life to it. Plus watching the series i didn't have to hear the whole graphic pornography of a prostitution ring. i quit reading and i am having this deleted from my list of books. My kids download what i get and if they read anything with porno in it i would rather it wasn't something i gave them to read.
    i was very disappointed to have that scene suddenly come up in my reading.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I wish i had read that this gets graphic but it isn't my book and so i don't feel like i have a right to say what i would change.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Nicola Barber’s performances?

    Probably not. There was no liveliness to this at all. I thought it could have been read with at least a tiny bit of feeling.


    Was Call the Midwife worth the listening time?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    i wish there was a rating system on the books. it is hard to know what you are getting when you pick one but i thought i was safe picking this one since it is from the 1950's and about a midwife.

    9 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellie Williamson 04-23-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A lovely story"

    The reading was a little quiet. It fit with the plot, but made the practice of listening to it difficult. Otherwise it was a perfect book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Mcmillen 04-20-15
    E. Mcmillen 04-20-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Love the show, loved this!"

    I think even if you've already seen the series the book takes you places you haven't been before. The narration is great in my opinion ^__^

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan United States 03-25-15
    Susan United States 03-25-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellent and informative"

    I was amazed at the depth of social and medical information woven into a lovely story! Goofy title but a wonderful book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 03-25-15
    Linda 03-25-15 Member Since 2012

    snowbyrd13

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Heartfelt and Moving"

    I purchased this book because I have enjoyed watching the TV version on PBS.

    The description of the conditions in some of the stories is heartbreaking. Sometimes I would set the book aside for weeks or months at a time because it was so troubling to me to read about the situations. The book is structured in an episodic manner, so it was easy to pick up the story where I'd left off, even if it had been many weeks.

    I'm glad I finally finished the book. It ends on a hopeful and positive note. There are even some episodes that are laugh out loud funny.

    Jennifer Worth has done an excellent job of making the characters and locations come to life in her descriptions. My mental images may have been enhanced by watching the TV show.

    By choice I do not have children. Even so, I found this book compelling and enjoyable.

    Nicola Barber's narration is superb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Corina 03-20-15
    Corina 03-20-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Enjoyable"

    Heartwarming, accounts of the life of a midwife.
    Looking forward to listening to the next in the series.
    I recommend highly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha 03-20-15
    Martha 03-20-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Wonderful book. Gentle anthem to midwives."

    More than met my expectations. Going back to hear the next two books! Thank you for a well delivered, good story. You feel you have known each individual.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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