Friday, September 28, 2012

Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth, narrated by,Nicola Barber

Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth, narrated by,Nicola Barber

I was a little thrown at first with this book as I was expecting a straight forward story but what I got was short stories/anecdotes, once I realized that it was easier to enjoy. Some stories are much longer than others like the story of young Mary who is 14 and a prostitute which is one of the best stories, really gives you a feel of the tough times. Or the one of the woman giving birth to her 24th child yes even Jenny asked if it was a typo!

I must say though if you get queasy from talk of bodily functions and very graphic details of childbirth and infections you may want to read this one in print so you can skip over these passages. Especially when she talks about the woman’s body odors and I’m not talking just sweat. She also talks a lot about some of the things she hates about her job in a very matter of fact way , she pulls no punches, she also describes the advances being made in midwifery and anti-(pre-for Americans) natal care.

Some of the women you will feel very sorry for, their lives are tough but some of these women will amaze you like the woman I mentioned above Conchita(*sp audio*) with the 24+ kids but she has the best attitude the first time we meet her she is giving birth to her 24th child the second time she is having her 25th and it doesn’t go as planned but she is still an amazing woman. The stories of the mixed race children especially the story of Ted I thought it was great that he accepted this child as his own and loved him anyway. Some of the Nuns were pretty funny too.

Nicola Barber narration is very well done, going from British to Irish to Cockney accents all seamlessly. CD #6 felt like it ended in the middle of a sentence, but the way some of these stories just trail off I could be wrong about that.

I wanted to read this because it is going to be on PBS Masterpiece as I am a Masterpiece geek .It was a good book but not quite the story/plot I expected, will be curious how they make it into more of a storyline than a bunch of shorter stories.  I will order the paper book for our local library also. I also see this is the first in a trilogy and hope the rest will soon be available on audio! Especially since this one kind of just trailed off like the rest of the short stories.

4 Stars

I received this audiobook from the Audiobookjukebox Solid Gold Reviewer Program & Highbridge Audio for a fair and unbiased review.


  1. Hi there, the October edition of Books You Loved is live. Here is the link Books You Loved October Edition Please do pop by and link in a post about a book you loved. Maybe this one? Cheers

  2. I adored this book, Susie! I'm watching the TV series too, at the moment, and really enjoying that too. In fact, they are keeping to the short-story model, having one person's "story" per episode.
    Cheers, Liza Perrat

  3. Yes Liz I wondered how they were going to do the TV series and am happy with how they have done it!