Monday, March 24, 2014

Review: Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Workhouse by Jennifer Worth

Description (from cover):

When twenty-two-year-old Jennifer Worth, from a comfortable middle-class upbringing, went to work as a midwife in the direst section of postwar London, she not only delivered hundreds of babies and touched many lives, she also became the neighborhood’s most vivid chronicler. Woven into the ongoing tales of her life in the East End are the true stories of the people Worth met who grew up in the dreaded workhouse, a Dickensian institution that limped on into the middle of the twentieth century.

Though these are stories of unimaginable hardship, what shines through each is the resilience of the human spirit and the strength, courage, and humor of people determined to build a future for themselves against the odds. This is an enduring work of literary nonfiction, at once a warmhearted coming-of-age story and a startling look at people’s lives in the poorest section of postwar London.

My thoughts:

I didn't like this book as much as I did the first, but I still enjoyed it. I love Ms. Worth's voice and how she overcame her upbringing to relate to the poorer people in the East End neighborhood of London. This book didn't have as many stories and tales of Worth's experiences as a young midwife in one of London's poorest neighborhoods as the first one. This one focuses more on facts about the workhouses and the impacts they had on civilization even years after they were broken apart. 

I simply cannot get enough of these books and this television show. I love learning about a time different than mine and how medicine was so drastically different then. Birthing babies has been work for women since the beginning of time, but it still is interesting to see what has changed and what hasn't and compare them to the way things are done currently. I like learning about the culture and the way people thought about things in the 1950's and how the people and their ways of life are so much different than the fast paced world today.

Because I enjoy this series, so much I knew that I had to read the last in this series right away. I didn't think that I could leave this series and start something new and come back to it later. I just have to see it through and see how things end for Jenny Lee. I think I will be sad when the series ends, but then again, I will always have the television shows to catch up on. FYI--if you're interested in these books, Amazon is currently running a sale on the Kindle editions of the books in this series. Snatch them up before they go back up to regular price.

Overall Rating: 3.5

Title:  Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Workhouse
Author:  Jennifer Worth
Series:  Call the Midwife #2
Publisher:  Ecco
Publication Date:  January 22, 2013
Pages:  304
Genre:  Nonfiction
Get It: Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was purchased by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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