It's 1957, and in a shattered post-war world, life goes on. Dot, a pupil midwife, negotiates the streets on her trusty old bicycle - come rain or shine - to help women in need. Living and working under the supervision of the strict Mrs O'Reilly, she must complete her training with twelve deliveries: there's Mrs Wardle who lives in a seedy slum; the eighth Clarke baby, born in an unusual place; the superstitious Wests, desperate for a boy; baby Murphy who is received with laughter; and brothel-worker Mrs Maloney. Amid lectures, textbooks and university dances, Dot must saddle up at any time of the day and night to attend deliveries. But just when she thinks she's got the measure of the job, fate deals her an unexpected hand...
What did you love best about Twelve Babies on a Bike?
The journal format and medical details give you a great sense of the urgency that these women found themselves in.
What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?
The diversity of circumstances surrounding births is pretty huge today but when hospital care was the exception and not the rule, the variations seem to have been infinite and dramatic. You can't predict outcomes in this book.
Which character – as performed by Sara Poyzer – was your favorite?
I think the Irish whore was really well done. A very plausibly different voice to all other characters who do tend to run together a bit.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Absolutely! I managed it in 3. I practically inhaled it.
Any additional comments?
Yet again I find myself insulted by the existence of abridged audiobooks. I used to be able to read print books but my vision is now too poor to sustain long periods of reading. So I have to read audiobooks. I guarantee that I am both intelligent and enthusiastic enough to take in the exact product those who read the print book do. This book would have gotten five stars all round had it been unabridged. I'll never know what I'm missing. This taints the book.ni was desperate for midwifery memoirs but don't mistake the fact that I bought the book for satisfaction in having no access to the unabridged edition.m
the Times of day was mentioned to many times other than that a good listen.