Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Have you heard of Call the Midwife? It's a television show on PBS about midwives in postwar London in the East End. It's a fascinating show with a great cast. It is inspired by the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, which are even more fascinating then the television show.
Jennifer Worth (formally Lee) was a nurse and midwife in the 1950's who went to work in London's East End after the war with a small Anglican nunnery. She herself was not part of the religious order, but worked and lived at the convent with both the nuns and other young nurse/midwives like herself. There she recorded not just the work she was doing on a day to day basis, but the history of midwifery, medical care, and the people of the East End in England.
This trilogy is honest and beautifully written, and shows not only the great work these women were doing but the hardships that the people were facing. It is detailed and unsentimental (the television show can get a bit sentimental), and shows the deep honor these women took in providing the medical care that people so desperately needed.
From the dark alleys of prostitution, to the notorious work houses, to the family that gladly anticipates their 25th child, these books are simply wonderful.

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