Jennifer Worth came from a sheltered background when she became a midwife in the Docklands in the 1950s. The conditions in which many women gave birth just half a century ago were horrifying, not only because of their grimly impoverished surroundings, but also because of what they were expected to endure. But while Jennifer witnessed brutality and tragedy, she also met with amazing kindness and understanding, tempered by a great deal of Cockney humour. She also earned the confidences of some whose lives were truly stranger, more poignant and more terrifying than could ever be recounted in fiction.
Attached to an order of nuns who had been working in the slums since the 1870s, Jennifer tells the story not only of the women she treated, but also of the community of nuns (including one who was accused of stealing jewels from Hatton Garden) and the camaraderie of the midwives with whom she trained. Funny, disturbing and incredibly moving, Jennifer’s stories bring to life the colourful world of the East End in the 1950s.
It’s clear that this is part of a trilogy as it definitely doesn’t finish all neatly tied up. This would usually really annoy me but I actually really enjoyed this story!
I loved the descriptions of the time period, some quite shocking (to me).
Having not watched a show or read the books before, I wasn’t really sure what to expect.
I actually ended up enjoying the first part much more than I would… I know that sounds silly, picking up a book about a midwife, but was worried those bits would not interest me! However, it was quite the opposite I found those bits very interesting! The bits I found this interesting work to do with religion, and the nuns!
I managed to grow a real connection with some of the characters and was really invested to find out what happened to them! And really enjoyed following the narrators journey, can’t wait to read the rest!
Rating this one a 4 out of 5 stars!