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and life along the winding road

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Midwife by Jennifer Worth

The Midwife, which has become a new television series in England - Call to the Midwife, was written by Jennifer Worth  who practiced in East London during the 1950s. This goes back to the time when many child births occurred in the home and even doctors made house calls. London's East End comprises of the docklands area which were busy during that time. The housing shortage in post war London pushed people into tenement housing, many of which had been condemned, and were to be torn down (it took nearly 20 years in some cases). Midwives not only had to deal with squalid conditions, but their only mode of transport was a bicycle. Sometimes they rode over seven miles during the night to deliver a baby and on one occasion when the bridge had been raised to accommodate a ship travelling along the river, the midwife and her nun companion carried their bikes and equipment across the river by hopping from barge to barge!
This is a story of a woman who was dedicated to her work and had a heart for the women she cared for. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and remember many of the bomb sites she described where children played before new buildings were erected in the 1960s and 70s. What admirable women these were.

I found this little gem at the library.


Tiffany Norris said...

I loved this book!

So many books, so little time said...

great review, I have this and the other two on my tbr list

Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

I had heard about this being made into a television series. I am not sure if the stories are taken just from this title or all four that she has written.

Sam (Tiny Library) said...

I keep meaning to read this, because the TV show was very good. Glad you enjoyed it :)