Review: Call the Midwife
Author: Jennifer Worth
Published: August 29, 2012
Paperback, 340 pages
Jennifer Worth was just twenty-two when she volunteered to spend her early years of midwifery training in London's East End in the 1950s. Coming from a sheltered background there were tough lessons to be learned. The conditions in which many women gave birth just half a century ago were horrifying.
One night a few months ago, I had insomnia. I was awake at some ungodly hour of the morning searching for something to watch on television besides infomercials. I came across a show on PBS called Call the Midwife. This isn't a show I normally watched, and I've never really been interested in midwifery before. However the episode I watched was really interesting. The next day I found myself trying to find out more information about this television series which led me to this book: Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth. The television series is based off the memoirs of Jennifer Worth and her time as a midwife during the 1950s.
I've since caught up on the entire show thus far and have read book 1 of the trilogy. I am impressed. Jennifer Worth is an excellent story teller. This memoir reads like a novel. I enjoyed learning more about the people she worked with during this time. The most fascinating thing to me is how much medicine has changed since the 1950s. I have to say I've taken for granted modern technology after reading this book. So many things that we think or rather don't think of because it's so common. For example: running water in our homes. It's more shocking today if someone were to say they didn't have indoor plumbing. However that was the case in London's East End during this time period. Jennifer and the other midwives had to work in hard and unsanitary conditions.
If you haven't watched the series yet it's available on Netflix streaming. Since I already watched the series, I was familiar with the characters/people in this book. I so admire the work that they did. I am definitely going to read the next two books in this series!