Call the Midwife – Jennifer Worth

If you somehow haven’t heard of ‘Call the Midwife’ by Jennifer Worth but like historically accurate stories with an excellent voice, then this could very well be for you.

‘Call the Midwife’ has been turned into a number of excellent seasons of a TV show by the same name, many of which I have binge watched over weekends as each season is released.

The TV show is based on the books, all written by Jennifer Worth from an autobiographical perspective, based on her time as a midwife in London during the 1950’s/1960’s. The main character in both the books and TV show, therefore, is a young ‘Jenny’.

The book tells the life of Jenny during her time as a midwife and nurse at Nonnatus House where she lives alongside a number of other midwives and/or nuns. The “and/or” here in the previous sentence is deliberate as many of the nuns at Nonnatus house were always trained as midwives.

‘Call the Midwife’ captures, in a brilliantly clear and authentic voice, a series of stories from the area in which Jenny worked as a midwife; some heart-warming, some heart-breaking.

I am a scientist by training so often struggle with scientifically inaccurate writing but there is none of that here, of course. Jenny is a trained midwife and provides an accurate, and detailed, yet still incredibly engaging insight into the lives of her colleagues, patients and friends at the time.

Having previously watched the show, I was interested to read the book. Very often I am of the opinion that the book is better than the movie – with very few if any instances yet to prove me wrong (or at least to prove to myself). I absolutely love the show and I absolutely loved the book, though the were both quite different in a number of ways. Some of the stories I recognised completely from the show, some from the show were several stories woven together, and some were completely different from what I could remember.

If you love historical tales, and insights into the medical and scientific practices in a poor part London in the last century this is brilliant. As I mentioned, too, it is still a great read even if you have dedicatedly watched all of the episodes! I am very much looking forward to rest of the book series and to future episodes with equal excitement.

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