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Anyone read/reading "Call the Midwife - A True Story of the East End in the 1950s "?

(49 Posts)
bohemianbint Thu 31-Jan-08 12:50:00


Am half way through and it's fascinating!

helenhismadwife Thu 31-Jan-08 13:05:49

I was bought this for my last birthday and read it, I really enjoyed it

catsmother Sat 08-Mar-08 21:13:22

I read it last summer and thought it was very well written. I really enjoy social history and this was fascinating - would have liked to known more.

waggledancer Sat 08-Mar-08 21:38:15

Have just read this, and really enjoyed it.
I am a midwife and the contrast between then and now is enormous.

I felt it lost something in the last chapters, but it was fascinating.

Have just passed it on to my mother in law, who trained and practised midwifery in London from the 50's to the 80's. Will be interesting to see how much matches her memory of midwifery at that time.

elkiedee Thu 27-Mar-08 00:45:25

I bought a copy on Friday when I came across it in Woolworths and will probably finish reading in the next two or three days. It's fascinating reading though for her experiences. I was surprised to discover that it's 2nd in the paperback non-fiction bestseller lists though - I assumed that Woolworths had it because that branch is so near a big hospital with a big maternity unit (the Whittington at Archway).

hedonia Thu 27-Mar-08 00:47:34

bet it was a dam sight better having a baby then in london

elkiedee Thu 27-Mar-08 01:36:53

Not for those giving birth in this book, I wouldn't say. Most of the women having babies in the book are very poor, but I'd sooner be someone in my relative financial situation now than then.

Tinkerisdead Mon 31-Mar-08 13:42:30

I just finished this book and I have to say it really heightened my desire to have a homebirth! really brought home to me how women for generations have been having babies without hospital intervention.
was fascinated by the prem baby story!

suedonim Mon 31-Mar-08 19:35:21

I bought this on Sat after seeing it mentioned on MN. I've other books to read first but am looking forward to it. smile

elkiedee Sat 19-Apr-08 23:05:42

There are two further volumes coming though I don't think either are out yet.

There's lots of bits which are fascinating though - apparently midwives were taught then in formal classes re the benefits of bottle feeding but the midwives in the book - Jenny (the author) and the order of nuns practising midwifery that she trains with, go with the instinct to encourage breastfeeding when they see it.

Certainly I think those who were lucky enough to come under the care of the nuns and their trainees were quite fortunate, but it's pretty clear from the book that normal practice has come on a bit since then.

hester Sat 19-Apr-08 23:09:33

Yes! I read it a while ago and really enjoyed it. I work in the NHS in that area, which made it even more interesting. I'm amazed (and pleased) it's selling so well.

Coathanger Sat 19-Apr-08 23:17:33

Read this and love! Love! LOVE! it. I'm a student midwife and, like Waggledancer, found the differences very interesting. I also found it interesting as my grandmother had children in post-war London...I just wish she was here to ask her about her experiences

kerryk Mon 21-Apr-08 15:05:08

started reading this last night and could not put it down, i was up till about 2-30 this morning. i think i will have it finished tonight. i hate it when a good book ends sad

suedonim Tue 06-May-08 20:42:28

Thanks for recommending this book, BohemianB, very enjoyable. I did think it ended rather abruptly, though!! I was born in the 50's but Jenny's Docklands world seems to reflect a completely different world to mine, more akin to the 1930's. I shall be giving my copy to my mum, she'll love it. smile

Elasticwoman Tue 06-May-08 22:35:52

Yes - brilliant book. Love the Spanish mother of 25. Cried over the Irish girl.

My mother was having children in S E London at the time all this was going on in the East End. Seems like another world.

Fillyjonk Thu 08-May-08 16:26:05

oh yes i keep meaning to get this book

i am so glad everyone is enjoying it

Tatties Thu 08-May-08 16:40:21

I am reading this atm! I just read the Len and Conchita chapter last night which made both dp and I laugh. Fascinating book

wheresthehamster Thu 08-May-08 16:55:53

It's top of my 'to read' pile. I can't wait to start now that everyone says it's good.

I bought it because one of my earliest memories of living in the East End is the midwife coming to our house to deliver my baby brother in 1959. She was really strict and scary and shooed my dad and me out to wander the streets for what seemed like hours. When we came home she allowed me to get into bed with my mum for a cuddle with my new brother. Aaaaaah

moondog Thu 08-May-08 16:57:18

Hamster,in that case it will be interesting to hear what you think of it.
I read it and loved it. Fascinating.

Tatties Sun 11-May-08 09:16:06

I just read about Mary last night sad

lizandlulu Fri 16-May-08 19:54:47

i bought it after reading this thread, read it in a week and am now seeling it on ebay again (shameless hint i knowgrin)

i am not a slow reader just that i only read at night till i go to sleep, i prefer my sleep!

piratecat Fri 16-May-08 19:59:39

i have just got this out the library, so won't read this thread!!

notnowbernard Fri 16-May-08 20:25:21

Read it earlier this year

Made me cry on 3 separate occasions sad

Very interesting. Used to live in the area she writes about too, so made it quite real

BouncingTurtle Fri 16-May-08 20:40:23

damn good book, Mary's story was heartbreaking sad
Len was a real treasure, wasn't he! Can't believe Conchita having 25 babies shock

wheresthehamster Fri 16-May-08 20:53:59

I've just finished the Conchita and Len story. Agree he was a lovely husband

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