Call the Midwife
May 21, 2013
Many have been watching this PBS series on Sunday evenings and learning about life in the London slums during the 1950s as seen through the eyes of the young nurse-midwives serving families during the post-WW II era. At the age of 21, Jennifer Worth left her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in post war 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-illuminated a fascinating time in history.
The Call the Midwife trilogy is comprised of Call the Midwife, Shadows of the Workhouse, and Farewell to the East End. Together, this series chronicles Jennifer Worth's career as a midwife from start to finish, from her arrival in the war-scarred Docklands as a wide-eyed trainee to the demolition of the tenements and subsequent closure of Nonnatus House. It provides a fascinating snapshot of social history, documenting the East End in the days when there was a real sense of community and when times were tough but there was plenty of good humor and neighborly support to help the inhabitants through the harsh economic climate.
The book also enables readers to follow Jennifer's personal story, as she discovers the amazing resilience of a population still bearing the scars of war, and the vibrant community of nuns with whom she lives and who teach her the skills of midwifery. In stories that are funny, disturbing, and moving in equal measure, we meet prostitutes and abortionists, bigamists and mischievous nuns, and saw Jennifer earn the confidence of people whose lives were often stranger than fiction.
The books, Shadows of the Workhouse, The Midwife, Farewell to East End, and the audiobook, Call the Midwife, are available in the Library's collection. Also available are the videos for Call the Midwife Seasons 1 and 2.
Beautifully written and utterly moving, Call the Midwife will touch the hearts of anyone who is, and everyone who has, a mother.
Blue Springs South Branch