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
"A charming tale of deliveries and deliverance." (Kirkus Reviews)
Call the Midwife was a truly gripping book for me. I am interested in birth and so reading about how births were conducted 60 years ago was so fascinating.
Yet, Jennifer Worth's story went far beyond that of the stories of the births she attended. It was the story of her maturing as a nurse and midwife, and of her strongly held notions about what was right and acceptable being challenged. She began her midwifery training at an Anglican convent in the dockland area of London's East End with not much more than disdain for people who were strongly motivated by love of God and called to service because of it. She grew to understand the women who mentored her, and to respect the ones whom she wrote off as just nasty or odd in the beginning. Seeing her dawning understanding of faith was lovely.
She also learned so much from the families of the poor and down trodden of an area so different from what she knew before.
Some of the stories she tells in this book are hilariously funny, and others are completely heartbreaking and painful to read. Worth certainly was a gifted storyteller, reminiscent of James Herriott. I hope the other books she wrote will be released on Audible soon.
Nicola Barber is a competent narrator, and not one who will put me off a book, so I was okay at first. But, I was very surprised; she seemed to really enjoy doing this book, and the characters came alive through her excellent narration. I was very pleased!
I don't think guys should be put of by a book about birthing babies, just as Herriott's books are more about the people than the animals. Give it a go.
entertaining, sweet, educational
The breech birth scene was so intense and exactingly told I could not put this down. In fact the entire book went by too fast. I think people of all ages would enjoy these stories all from the 1950's East End of London
all of it
The PBS series was fascinating, the book was better.
To find out one of the boys became one of Lady Di's drivers. Not only ar there wonderful stories of birth, but so much history after WW 2.
It made me smile, with so many stories it told.
Think this book is for all.
I really liked the glimpse into a time period and culture I was not familiar with. The characters are interesting-- although sometimes it is sad. Mostly I was so interested in the work of a midwife. I will listen to it again. I admire the author of this book-- for telling of short cases, yet making the stories hold together-- but mostly for the work she did as a midwife. The PBS series was well done, but as always a book is more satisfying.
This book is an exploration of a subject that few in the U.S. have experienced; Post war poverty and living conditions and the use of midwives in home births.
This is a very moving book which will touch most women. It explores the bravery of doing a job that is far out of one's comfort zone and the determination of people who have little materially to persevere and improve not only their own circumstances but also those of the people around them.
I enjoyed hearing about London during the 50s and what the medical technology was at that time. I also enjoyed learning about the nuns.
The book seemed more like a collection of stories rather than a cohesive memoir. I was expecting it to be a little bit more linear. It seemed that each chapter was a short story about her time as a midwife. It made the story seem a bit detached and choppy.
I enjoyed Nicola Barber's narration but sometimes she was difficult to hear. She had a soothing voice which was nice, but listening to it in the car made it difficult to hear everything she was saying.
I enjoyed hearing all of the stories about the high-risk births. It was interesting to hear how they used to deliver babies. I also enjoyed the chapters that went in depth about a mother and her family (e.g. Mary, Conchita, etc.).
This book was informative and entertaining. I would recommend it to anyone interested in midwifery in the 1950s or anyone with an interest in London in the 1950s.
I love non-fictional first hand tales like this and this writer was really good.
Sister Monica Joan made me laugh, think and want to cry.
Nicola Barber seemed to have the rare talent of a great voice and an understanding of the material that allows her to read the story with the right emphasis on the right things. Her various accents were brilliant. I would actually choose anther book on the strength of her reading it alone.
A reader who loves to sew, which makes Audible ideal. No special trends but always on the lookout for recommended titles. Appreciate good stories not the graphic details which seem to be the trend.
Coming to this book from the TV series, I found it most compelling. Terribly sad at times and horribly stark but true. A remarkable woman a must read, and I hope to find her other books on Audible.
I liked the history about the Dockland area of London in the mid-20th century and how the people lived. It did much to bring the area and its people to life. I did not like the narrator.
Sister Monica Joan was great fun and had the most depth of character.
Oy. Ms. Barber clearly has a good range of voices, so her decision - and the director's decision to allow her- to read the main character in the tiny, near-whisper, sometimes whiny, nasally voice is beyond my understanding. It was extremely distracting as the voice would get so soft I'd have to turn up the volume and so nasally and whispery that I'd have to strain to hear. And then, suddenly, she'd do a different louder voice, and I'm backing down the volume in exasperation. By the time the book was ending (and the last chapter was, without question, the most annoying of all) I was so distracted by the affectation that I could barely concentrate on the story.
It was OK, but could have been SO much better!
Listen carefully to the sample before you buy it and realize that, for much of the story, she modulates this voice down to even more of a nasal whisper. .
Yes, specifically those that liked The Birth House.
I liked her portrayal of Sister Monica Joan.
There were times I was misty, I'm trying to conceive and there are all these mothers having children in hard conditions...
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