Book review: Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth

Well hello to you my reader chums! Call the Midwife has to be my favourite ever TV show; there's something about it that's incredibly humbling and heartwarming that I can't help but feel all the emotions whilst watching it. I've been a fan of the series for years but never had the chance to pick up the original book - so when I got my hands on it, I couldn't wait to give it a read.

As you can imagine, I fell in love with the book as much as I did the show and here are my overall thoughts...

Book review: Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth


Plotline

Based on the true-life story of Jennifer Worth, it's her recollection of what life was like in the 1950s as a midwife in the Nonnatus House. The account is incredibly honest and gives a raw description of life in the 1950s from the living conditions, the healthcare system, a life living with nuns and stories of delivering many babies across Poplar.

Each chapter in the book is titled a different topic and goes into detail either about a patient, an event or a medical condition around childbirth. And each chapter is packed with an incredible amount of detail, whether it's describing Jennifer's fellow midwives or a birth. I felt as if I learned so much about childbirth whilst reading this and it gave me a huge insight into what midwifery was like back then. I was also impressed by how similar the book was to the show I've been watching for years, as usually when a show is based on a book, it's changed a lot!

The plotline goes in chronological order from chapter to chapter but each chapter will take a lead with one of the topics I've previously mentioned. I like how the plot was like a diary in a sense, as I was able to not only learn about life in the 1950s but the exact thoughts of a  midwife and how hard and meaningful there job is.

Characters and relationships

I don't know where to begin with the characters in this book as there are so many which stand out to me. The protagonist and storyteller of this book, Jennifer is incredible. I fell in love with her stance and what she's all about since page one. Jennifer is fiery, strong, intelligent and like your typical young woman which is probably why I resonated with her so much. Her account of everything she does is so raw, honest and normal but you can't help to read on and see what she's up to. She comes across very modest and also not perfect, which is great. She tells you about her wins, her mistakes but also everyday life as a midwife.

The book is packed with different characters that you're able to get to know and love. The sisters of Nonnatus House play a huge role in Jennifer's day to day life living and you see that pull through in her words. She talks about the sisters with such pride and honesty, describing exactly who they are and her observations from their history. It's beautifully written and always so insightful.

Jennifer's relationship with her fellow midwives is one of my favourites to read about because like with any colleague, you create a special bond as you're with each other more than you are your whole family. She talks about them in such a positive light including Chummy and Cynthia and exactly how they are, leaving nothing a mystery.

The best relationship to read about, however, is between midwives and the patients. Back in the 1950s, everything was more community based where everyone knows everyone and it's very heartwarming to read about. Jennifer describes her patients in so much detail that you get to know them like you would a friend and I think that in itself shows how important they were to the midwives and sisters of Nonnatus House. 

Thoughts on the book

Overall, I absolutely adored this book and every page which came with it. The descriptions, the stories, the characters and the honesty made up the overall heartfelt account of Jennifer's life in 1950s as a Nonnatus midwife. I loved learning about midwifery, about her relationship with the people in Poplar, how she grew as a midwife and her own history. The read was insightful and wonderful and I can't wait to read the rest in the series.

Ending

The book doesn't exactly have an ending to it because the plotline is the narrator describing her life and things that came along with it. As there's not an ending, I can't fully report on it but the last chapter finished in a way that the first began with love and raw emotion - and makes me want to read more of the tale.

I hope you enjoyed this book review. Have you read any from the series?

Thank you for reading <3

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