The sequel to Jennifer Worth's New York Times bestselling memoir and the basis for the PBS series Call the Midwife
When twenty-two-year-old Jennifer Worth, from a comfortable middle-class upbringing, went to work as a midwife in the direst section of postwar London, she not only delivered hundreds of babies and touched many lives, she also became the neighborhood's most vivid chronicler. Woven into the ongoing tales of her life in the East End are the true stories of the people Worth met who grew up in the dreaded workhouse, a Dickensian institution that limped on into the middle of the twentieth century.
Orphaned brother and sister Peggy and Frank lived in the workhouse until Frank got free and returned to rescue his sister. Bubbly Jane's spirit was broken by the cruelty of the workhouse master until she found kindness and romance years later at Nonnatus House. Mr. Collett, a Boer War veteran, lost his family in the two world wars and died in the workhouse.
Though these are stories of unimaginable hardship, what shines through each is the resilience of the human spirit and the strength, courage, and humor of people determined to build a future for themselves against the odds. This is an enduring work of literary nonfiction, at once a warmhearted coming-of-age story and a startling look at people's lives in the poorest section of postwar London.
The last book in the trilogy begun by Jennifer Worth's New York Times bestseller and the basis for the PBS series Call the Midwife
When twenty-two-year-old Jennifer Worth, from a comfortable middle-class upbringing, went to work as a midwife in the poorest section of postwar London, she not only delivered hundreds of babies and touched many lives, she also became the neighborhood's most vivid chronicler. Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End is the last book in Worth's memoir trilogy, which the Times Literary Supplement described as "powerful stories with sweet charm and controlled outrage" in the face of dire circumstances.
Here, at last, is the full story of Chummy's delightful courtship and wedding. We also meet Megan'mave, identical twins who share a browbeaten husband, and return to Sister Monica Joan, who is in top eccentric form. As in Worth's first two books, Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times and Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Workhouse, the vividly portrayed denizens of a postwar East End contend with the trials of extreme poverty--unsanitary conditions, hunger, and disease--and find surprising ways to thrive in their tightly knit community.
A rich portrait of a bygone era of comradeship and midwifery populated by unforgettable characters, Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End will appeal to readers of Frank McCourt, Katherine Boo, and James Herriot, as well as to the fans of the acclaimed PBS show based on the trilogy.
An unforgettable true story, The Midwife is the basis for the hit PBS drama Call the Midwife
At the age of twenty-two, Jennifer Worth leaves her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in post war London's East End slums. The colorful characters she meets while delivering babies all over London-from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lives to the woman with twenty-four children who can't speak English to the prostitutes and dockers of the city's seedier side-illuminate a fascinating time in history. Beautifully written and utterly moving, The Midwife will touch the hearts of anyone who is, and everyone who has, a mother.
From 1950 until 2001, Lovie Beard Shelton practiced midwifery in eastern North Carolina homes, delivering some 4,000 babies to black, white, Mennonite, and hippie women; to those too poor to afford a hospital birth; and to a few rich enough to have any kind of delivery they pleased. Her life, which was about giving life, was conspicuously marked by loss, including the untimely death of her husband and the murder of her son.
Lovie is a provocative chronicle of Shelton's life and work, which spanned enormous changes in midwifery and in the ways women give birth. In this artful exploration of documentary fieldwork, Lisa Yarger confronts the choices involved in producing an authentic portrait of a woman who is at once loner and self-styled folk hero. Fully embracing the difficulties of telling a true story, Yarger is able to get at the story of telling the story. As Lovie describes her calling, we meet a woman who sees herself working in partnership with God and who must wrestle with the question of what happens when a woman who has devoted her life to service, to doing God's work, ages out of usefulness. When I'm no longer a midwife, who am I? Facing retirement and a host of health issues, Lovie attempts to fit together the jagged pieces of her life as she prepares for one final home birth.
Margaret Charles Smith, a ninety-one-year-old Alabama midwife, has thousands of birthing stories to tell. Sifting through nearly five decades of providing care for women in rural Greene County, she relates the tales that capture the life-and-death struggle of the birthing experience and the traditions, pharmacopeia, and spiritual attitudes that influenced her practice. Believed to be the oldest living (though retired) traditional African American midwife in Alabama, Smith is one of the few who can recount old-time birthing ways.
In this prequel to the highly praised "The Blue Cotton Gown, "Patricia Harman reaches back to her youthful experiments in living a fully sustainable and natural life in the 1960s and 70s in rural Minnesota and on a commune in Ohio, forming alliances with the eco-minded and antiwar counterculture. From those riveting days as a self-taught midwife, delivering babies in cabins and on farms, sometimes in harrowing circumstances, Patsy takes us into the present day, where she faces the challenges of running a women s health clinic with her husband, mothering adult sons, and holding true to her principles and passions in the twenty-first century.
This is the personal story of a courageous and compassionate Florida midwife and an account of her fight to provide women with affordable health care. It's a modern day tale of David versus Goliath, where "David" was one of the last grand ("granny") lay midwives still delivering babies in the U.S.
Jesusita Aragon earned the title "la partera," or midwife, at the age of fourteen. Apprenticed to her grandmother, she learned the traditional Hispanic methods of assisting childbirth. She won the coveted title by performing her first delivery when an expectant mother went into labor in her grandmother's absence. In the years that followed, she was often the only source of medical care available in an isolated, mountainous area of New Mexico. Jesusita was so prized for her medical wisdom that she came to deliver more than 12,000 babies in the course of her career.
This is Jesusita's story, told in her own words. She describes her early training as a midwife, her forced departure from home due to two unmarried pregnancies, and her solitary struggle to support her children. La Partera tells how she gradually emerged as a leader in her community, painstakingly building by hand a small maternity center for her patients while gaining the respect of the Anglo medical community.
As Jesusita's story unfolds, so too does the story of the women of the region. Supplemental sections by the author illuminate Jesusita's culture and past, along with a historical account of the network of medical care provided by Hispanic and Anglo female healers. Illustrated with photographs of both people and places, La Partera reflects the culture of an era through the prism of Jesusita's hard and useful life.
Fran Leeper Buss lives and teaches in Tucson, Arizona.
Between 1870 and 1970, 26 million Italians left their homeland and travelled to places like Canada, Australia and the United States, in search of work. Many of them never returned to Italy. Against this historic backdrop comes the story of Rosina, a Calabrian matriarch, who worked as a midwife in an area where only one doctor served three villages. She was also the only member of the Russo family to remain in Italy after the mass migration of the 1950s. Written by Rosina's great-great- granddaughter, Rosina, the Midwife is a charming memoir that is at once a Canadian story and an Italian one.Through Kluthe's meticulous research and great insight, we see her great-grandfather Generoso labouring through the harsh Edmonton winter in order to buy passage to Canada for his wife and children; we glimpse her grandmother Rose huddled in a third-class cabin, sick from the motion of the boat; and we watch, teary-eyed, as her great-great-grandmother Rosina is forced to say goodbye, one by one, to the people she loves.
Virginia Howes was a mother of four doing the ironing when she had a revelation. Still broody, but not really wanting to add to her family, she realised that becoming a midwife was her true vocation. It was a long journey to get the education and qualifications she needed, especially with a young family, but she was determined and never doubted her decision. Following her training, she spent two years working within the NHS, but her naturally independent spirit fought against the constraints of the system and fourteen years ago she decided to set up on her own. Virginia works with mothers who want to give birth at home naturally, something which Virginia believes in passionately. 350 births later, Virginia still loves what she does. The Baby's Coming is Virginia's memoir and tells the stories of her training as a midwife as well as some of the most memorable of those 350 births: the most dramatic, the most touching. Virginia particularly remembers the births of her own grandchildren whose arrivals in the world were some of the most special moments for her as both a midwife and grandmother.
Margaret Maund has had quite an extraordinary life. Born in the south Wales valleys, she trained as a nurse and midwife and spent three years working in war-torn central Africa in the late 1960s. Many years later she became an Anglican priest, being amongst the first group of women to be ordained in Wales. Now retired from nursing and the ministry, Margaret Maund's fascinating working life has spawned a third career as a writer and broadcaster. Her autobiography charts the highs and lows of a life spent breaking new ground.