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Publisher's Summary

Written by Jennifer Worth, Farewell to the East Endis one of the trilogy of memoirs upon which the popular BBC series Call the Midwifeis based.

London's East End in the 1950s was a vibrant place-a close-knit community of families where children made playgrounds on bombsites and a lively social scene emerged. It was into this world that Jennifer Worth entered as a young midwife. Post-war life could be a struggle, but there was also warmth and humour. Farewell to the East End chronicles the lives, culture and stores of a bygone era.

©2010 Jennifer Worth (P)2010 Oakhill Publishing Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A sad farewell but a memorable and satisfying send-off." (Daily Express)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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A Brilliant Book

This is the third book in the trilogy by Jennifer Worth on her life as a midwife in the East End of London in the 1950's. After being hooked on the BBC adaptation of her first book, Call the Midwife, I have devoured what I can find of her writings, and she does not disappoint.

But I must emphasise that it is not a book for the faint-hearted! Most of the stories are sad, but she writes the accounts in such a way with humour sprinkled liberally throughout the book, that somehow you don't mind the sadness, and the characters you meet are filled to the brim with life, with all with the sweetness, brutality, stoicism, fortitude and love that comes with the desperately poor conditions Jennifer was working among. It is the stuff of real life.

Her writings on this period in history is an education as well in a time of English history that is not so glittering, and Worth deals with many of the social issues that are not so widely talked about such as back-street abortions, suicide, infanticide and prostitution - so it is not a 'light' read, but I enjoyed it because of the richness of characters and the interesting lives and stories weaved around those lives, and found myself many times with tears on my face, or laughing out loud.

I loved the ending because she gives a brief summary of the lives of the nurses she worked with and what happened to them. Chummy, Cynthia, Trixie, the Nuns and herself. There are no loose ends at the finish, and I find that very satisfying when you have come to love the main characters.

You will run the gamut of emotions in this brilliant book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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interesting but disjointed compared to first two

still found this very interesting however it felt much more disjointed than the previous books. nothing really related to anything else. still lots of interesting things just less of a story more of a random history book.

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  • Overall
  • Helen
  • 07-23-11

Brilliant !

I have given this book a rating of five stars, it was my first Jennifer Worth and I simply can not wait to hear / read more after finishing Farewell To The East End. Very funny, emotional and completely captivating, brilliantly written, I was gripped throughout. This one is nice and easy to follow so good to listen to whilst doing other things like knitting or following a pattern, the characters are nicely portrayed so it was easy to connect with them and get a real sense of each persons story within this book. Really love the way each chapter develops, a good read, definitely recommended. The rarator: Saskia Butler, has done a fantastic job bringing the story to life, really like her voice which made for a very good experience listening to this one.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Carole
  • 07-11-14

Thought it was "Call The Midwife"

Didn't read the details properly so I thought this was "Call the Midwife".

Nevertheless it was very good. Not so much about the work of the midwives but more about the setting in which they were working, the views of the time and the living conditions of their ladies.

Very interesting.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • mrs
  • 07-29-12

Enjoyed it with reservation

As a midwife myself I much enjoyed listening to the minutiae of midwifery in the fifties. However, the mispronunciation of many of the obstetric/midwifery terms was irritating to say the least. On a few occasions I only realised what the word was because of the context. But despite this It was a jolly good listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sandy
  • 01-29-12

Enjoyable, easy listening

The author and narrator made the medical situations accessible and interesting. The book lacked consistency in parts and was more a series of anecdotes than a chronological story with character development, and there was no actual plot as a result. Having said that, in places I was laughing, in other places I was shocked, sickened and saddened. Overall, interesting and enjoyable.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • M. Sulaiman
  • 03-10-15

Great narrative

narration brilliant. disappointing ending could have expanded on the characters. wish it was more like the television series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 01-23-15

super!

lovely book really enjoyed it! made me laugh and cry all at the same time fully reccomend it to anyone.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • T
  • 05-27-14

Heartfelt

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Lovely stories, time well spent.

What other book might you compare Farewell to the East End to, and why?

The help, story about real people.

What three words best describe Saskia Butler’s voice?

clear, changeable and interesting

Do you think Farewell to the East End needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, there are plenty of stories in the one book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs
  • 04-11-14

Loved it

What made the experience of listening to Farewell to the East End the most enjoyable?

Not my usual thing but very touching

Who was your favorite character and why?

Sister Monica was wonderful.

Any additional comments?

Shame the television series was so sanitised

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • nickyh
  • 05-30-15

Don't expect 'Call The Midwife'

If you are a fan of the TV series, you might be disappointed by this other version of your favourite characters. Otherwise this is mostly a good listen, in particular the sections about the history of TB and the medical details of the midwifery and nursing (which are sadly lacking in the series).

The performance is mostly good, but spoiled a little by some errors - 'Bobby on the heat' for example, instead of 'beat'. Also the reader's accents for different characters are a little grating; particularly Trixie's slightly mockney accent (especially as the nurses are described in the book as Middle class, this seems particularly incongruous).

Also note that there are also far fewer happy outcomes in this more truthful account than the televised version, so if you are looking for fun and a happy ending, this may not be for you.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs
  • 03-10-13

I love this audio book!

Just a really brilliant audio book about a subject I love. 5 Stars from me!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful