I read the books after loving the tv series. I absolutely loved reading Jennifer Worth’s memories of her time as a midwife.
I am a nurse myself and being given the opportunity to revisit a time in history where midwifery was almost wholly done in the community was a chance not to be missed.
The author perfectly captured the joy and sadness that women in post war London experienced. The stories of hardship and absolute poverty seem so long ago from the advantages we enjoy today but it is the experiences of women still living today. My grandmother gave birth to her first child in the east end of London during this time-frame.
Reading this book brings you on a roller-coaster of emotions. From laughing at the characters and their interactions, (Sister Monica Joan was a particular favourite of mine,) to the horror you feel when you read of a young teenage girl forced in to prostitution.
It can make for difficult reading at times, however these stories are a reality of their time and should not be excluded simply because of the subject matter. The truth of the matter is this is a memoir of a midwife working in a deprived area, more often than not, there were bad outcomes for mothers and babies and for Jennifer Worth to shy away from these topics would have been a dishonour to the women’s true experiences.