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Call the Midwife Audiobook

Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

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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

4.4 (4960 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Weedarkone 03-10-15
    Weedarkone 03-10-15 Member Since 2011
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    "FANTASTIC BOOK FANTASTIC READER"

    I recently discovered this series on Netflix and HAD to read the original. It's extremely well written, and the reader does a fantastic job with all of the accents, including Spanish and Cockney. Her voice is not annoying in the least. In fact, I can't wait to hear the next installment in the series. It's a gripping work that makes one realize how blessed we all are to live in such times when medicine and technology have advanced so. Still, it also allows you to see how beautiful life once was, as well. It makes me feel happy to listen to these stories.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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    Charlene Philadelphia, MS, United States 05-06-13
    Charlene Philadelphia, MS, United States 05-06-13
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    "Excellent writin performed excellently."
    What did you love best about Call the Midwife?

    I love non-fictional first hand tales like this and this writer was really good.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Sister Monica Joan made me laugh, think and want to cry.


    What about Nicola Barber’s performance did you like?

    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.


    17 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karen 05-26-14
    karen 05-26-14
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    "Fabulous beyond words...."

    Back in 1961, FCC Chairman Newton Minnow called television a "vast wasteland" -- and he was right, back then. Today, television is in a magnificent resurgence, with exceptional programming like BBC's "The Street", PBS's "Sherlock", and best of all, BBC's
    "Call the Midwife", which I first encountered via Netflix. Seeing that first episode, I was entranced -- and spent the next several evenings watching every episode available. Amazing, the acting, the stories, the history, the clear but soft presentation of moral issues -- no preaching -- not to mention the insights into life in London's East End in the 1950's -- not that long ago, in the scheme of things.

    So it was with some trepidation that I bought the audio book -- which was the exact reverse of a situation for me. Normally I read the book, and then am reluctant to see the film because it's almost never as good. In this case, I'd seen several seasons of the astonishingly good television series, and found myself wondering if the actual book could be anywhere near as fine.

    It was. And then some -- in fact, the TV series follows Jennifer Worth's written memoirs very carefully, at least in the situations and scenes presented. The TV producers added a little more love interest than was in the memoirs -- for several of the young women, not just Jenny -- but otherwise it's all there, the Sisters, with their various eccentricities, Jenny, with all her sincerity, Fred the handyman with all his schemes, and of course "Chummy" -- well, how would anyone describe Chummy? But the book character is very similar to that played by the enormously talented Miranda Hart. I find myself smiling whenever she appears -- whether in the book or in the films.

    There are a few more historical details in the book than in the series, which I found fascinating. Again, 1950 wasn't all that long ago, but it continued to amaze me that so many medical advancements we take for granted now weren't available then.

    The audio book is greatly enhanced by the perfect narration by Nicola Barber. Her very soft voice, perfect enunciation, is absolutely the right choice for this memoir. Well done!

    All in all, highest recommendation possible for this audio book -- and for the BBC series!

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Esther 06-01-15
    Esther 06-01-15
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    "Beautiful voice for a beautifully written book!"

    One of my favorite audio books ever! Love Nicola Baber's voice. Love this book full of love and passion.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sonya 03-11-15
    Sonya 03-11-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Many stories within a story"

    I found the main character very relatable and lovable. Her stories of the women she met through midwifery were sad, beautiful, inspiring, and lovely.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 02-06-14
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 02-06-14
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    "A memoir of Birth, Joy and hard Times"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Call the Midwife to be better than the print version?

    Probably. Nicola Barber did a commendable job with this book. Some reviewers do have complaints regarding the low whispering tone she takes sometimes, and I found it a little annoying at first, but the short stories in the book were so compelling that I was able to look past the minor annoyance.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Conchita, jennifer (of course), and Chummy.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The birth of a baby during Christmas dinner; a tortoise appearing from under the bed! I laughed out loud!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    yes, the births of Conchita Warren's children. I hope to hear more from this family in subsequent books.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is a wonderful addition to any library. While it primarily addresses women's issues, it details the way life was lived in the 1950s, contrasted with life today... certain things just surprised me about the advances in medical science, and how sometimes human intuition can be as or more beneficial than the most scientific of medical care.

    I am thrilled that the other two books in this trilogy are FINALLY available on Audible; I will be reading them shortly!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Allison Currie CYPRESS, TX, US 10-15-12
    Allison Currie CYPRESS, TX, US 10-15-12
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    "Loved it, ready to watch the series"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, specifically those that liked The Birth House.


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

    Con's premie.


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

    I liked her portrayal of Sister Monica Joan.


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

    There were times I was misty, I'm trying to conceive and there are all these mothers having children in hard conditions...


    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer TX USA 01-21-13
    Amazon Customer TX USA 01-21-13 Member Since 2008
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    "very interesting"

    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.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne 01-11-13
    Anne 01-11-13
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    "Fascinating history. Annoying narrator"
    What did you like best about Call the Midwife? What did you like least?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Sister Monica Joan was great fun and had the most depth of character.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    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.


    Was Call the Midwife worth the listening time?

    It was OK, but could have been SO much better!


    Any additional comments?

    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. .

    35 of 45 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue 11-05-12
    Sue 11-05-12 Member Since 2012
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    "More coherent than the television performance"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


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

    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.


    15 of 19 people found this review helpful

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