Blurb: Life in London's docklands in the early 1950s was tough. The brothels of Cable Street, the Kray brothers and gang warfare, the meths drinkers in the bomb sites - this was the world that Jennifer Worth entered when she became a midwife at the age of twenty-two. Babies were born in slum conditions, often with no running water.
Jennifer worth describes the romance and beauty of the great port of London, the bug-infested tenements, the spectre of disease, the sense of community and the incredible resilience of women who bore more than ten children. Funny, disturbing and moving, Call the Midwife brings to life a world that has now changed beyond measure.
Thoughts: Since falling in love with this show, I was determined to read the book it was based on, more so after my best friend had said it was a hundred miles away from the programme we loved. How right she was - the book was more harrowing and realistic than the programme could ever dare to be. Worth writes with such clear detail, you cannot help but picture ever scene and every character. Parts of her narrative are truly quite disturbing and graphic (a description of "entertainment" in a brothel will most likely haunt me for the rest of my days), but are nonetheless compelling reading. I was quite surprised that the characters who are perhaps most beloved in the series are, for the most part, quite unlikeable. There is a definite sense of changing characters to make them appeal far more to a wider audience. I cannot wait to find the next two books in the series to see if Worth develops any other people/stories further. I can already sense that religion could become an even bigger part of her life (and not just because she lives with nuns!), which I am yet to see could detract slightly from her narrative.