Jennifer Worth’s memoirs of her life as a home midwife in 1950’s East-end London are an absorbing read. As a young nurse fresh from teaching hospital, Worth finds herself among the selfless nuns of Nonnatus House who have dedicated their lives to helping the sick and impoverished. She rises to the challenge and finds true satisfaction in her work. Birth stories and family drama are interspersed with social commentary ranging from luckless young prostitutes to pitiful survivors of the workhouse. Worth has captured a fascinating vanished era of tightknit families, hard work and grinding poverty in the dense dockland area.
What the Armchair Critics Thought
Highly recommended. We really admired the ability of the author to paint such charming character sketches – from Sister Monica Joan to Chummy – we wanted to befriend them all. We loved that this was a story of women’s work and women’s lives that recognized both the drudgery and the camaraderie of living in a close knit tenement community. Tales of heartbreak were balanced with stories of perseverance and triumph but nothing was sugar coated. We were also impressed by the fact that being a best-selling author was Worth’s third career – after successful stints at both nursing and music. An inspiration to us all!