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Letters to the Midwife

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  214 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
When the CALL THE MIDWIFE books became bestsellers, Jennifer Worth was inundated with correspondence. People felt moved to write to her because the books had touched them, and because they wanted to share memories of the world her books described, the East End of London in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

LETTERS TO THE MIDWIFE is a collection of the correspondence she recei
Hardcover, First edition, 256 pages
Published February 13th 2014 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson
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Petra X
I'm reading two Jennifer Worth books right now. The other one is In the Midst of Life which is very depressing as it's all about death. This one, published after her pwn death, has a long (read: goes on and on) introduction by "the Worth family". Hagiography more like. The only thing that is mysterious about Jennifer Worth, if this portrayal of her is correct, is that she wasn't made a Dame, given a tiara and a halo and we all knelt down to smell the soles of her feet which were probably scented ...more
The atypical contents of this book make it tricky to categorise. Copyrights are owned by many contributors; of which the late Mrs Worth is the linch pin, the best known. Those who have read and enjoyed the late Mrs Jennifer Worth’s ‘Call the Midwife’ books will enjoy this book; others may find it less satisfying.

It is a book that celebrates Life, of relationships old and new, and change. Here is a bringing and coming together of strangers’ letters and memories of shared experiences, and of a he
Susan Grossey
May 18, 2014 Susan Grossey rated it it was ok
Like so many readers, I have come to these books through the television series - but I think this one is a book too far. It seems disjointed and rather flung together - not a patch on the careful structure of earlier books. Perhaps it is a catch-all, to make sure that nothing goes to waste, but I wouldn't recommend this as a good sample of Jenny's otherwise beautiful writing.
Mar 03, 2014 Jane rated it it was amazing

I have enjoyed all of Jennifer Worth’s books and this is the fifth book in her series. I was so please to be able to review this book. This is a lovely book with letters from people who loved her books and wanted to tell Jennifer this. There are also personal touches from people they knew at that time, areas of Poplar and the east end. Although this is titled as letters, there is also are really interesting section of Jennifer’s life in 50s Paris and good descriptions of post war Pa
Mar 02, 2014 Anne rated it really liked it
I really don't watch a great deal of television drama. I work strange hours in my job as a Community Development Worker, often having evening meetings that finish quite late and I never seem to be at home on the same evening each week. However, I watched the first episode of Call The Midwife and was hooked. I have no idea why, I'm not a mother, I've never been interested in nursing, or in being a nun! There's just something about the programme that entrances me for the full hour that it is on.

Sian Thompson
Mar 10, 2014 Sian Thompson rated it it was amazing
I love books of an autobiographical nature and so learning a little of the life of Jennifer Worth and of the way her books have touched the hearts of many and caused them to recount their own memories of East London in the 1950s was excellent to read. It certainly kept my interest and has even prompted me to ask my own mother about her early days. I have already read 'Call the midwife' and shall definitely be getting the remainder of her books.
Feb 22, 2016 Maria rated it really liked it
The majority of the books consists of letters written by londoners (or British, whatever) to Jennifer Worth, it isn't written as a novel per se. I read it mostly because of the nursing part of the book (as Call the Midwife inspired me so much in my nursing studies), this one also have a "nursing part" or perspective but less than the previous one. With their book you can form a better idea of the lifestyle and daily lives of people of Poplar after the second world war. It doesn't follow nursing ...more
Dec 01, 2016 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I did enjoy this book but I found the constant references to other people's experiences extremely annoying! They would write about their own careers after writing to Jenny about her books and how much they enjoyed them. I found myself skipping through pages of rubbish to get to the good bits. I loved her experiences in Paris as a young nurse and also as a Nanny, especially when she be friended the Spanish cleaner, it was hilarious!
So this is a mixed review the first part of the book was brillia
May 13, 2014 Laura rated it it was ok
I enjoyed reading this book as I love the series and the trilogy originally written by Jennifer worth. It was really interesting reding all about the era and seeing it through other peoples eyes. I also really enjoyed reading about Jennifer's time spent in Paris it sounds like a world away from what it is today. Although I did enjoy the book I wouldn't says it has become a favourite of mine. I loved reading the letters from her 'fans' but I wasn't as keen on her diary about god. As a non ...more
Robin Ryan
Feb 23, 2016 Robin Ryan rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who has read her previous books
If you have read the Call the Midwife Trilogy and seen the television show by the same name, you will find this book interesting. I cannot imagine anyone else enjoying it though. I learned to love Jenny and I appreciated reading more little tidbits about her life - she was a fascinating woman to say the least. I enjoyed reading her responses to her fans' letters and learning about her time in Paris. I especially liked reading about her faith journey. I always imagined living with the Sisters ...more
Feb 06, 2016 Nancy rated it it was ok
This book is an interesting collection of fill-in-the-blanks tidbits about Jennifer Lee Worth. It includes tributes from her husband and daughters, back stories and "what happened after" accounts to amplify her Midwife trilogy of books, and letters from fans that include their own memories of the East End and midwifery. It doesn't read like Worth's trilogy, but is more like an appendix where you can focus on points that interested you in the books. Worth the read but not a reread.
Katy Darnell
Jun 12, 2016 Katy Darnell rated it really liked it
LOVED this book. Loved it! Fascinating that life in the London docks and medicine could have changed this much in just 50 years. I actually enjoyed the books (1 & 2) more than I did the series. The real life tales of daily life for a midwife in a convent had enough drama, comedy and spirituality that it in no way needed to be Hollywood-ized. There is one chapter that I thought I wish I could have "un-read", but then again, this is not a romantic book about
London east-end.
Diane W
Jun 20, 2016 Diane W rated it really liked it
I love to read letters and this book didn't disappoint. The reminisences of Jennifer's readers who wrote her letters recounting their own experiences as midwives and/or residents of east London and beyond was most interesting and gave great insight into the living conditions over the years. I also loved the section Jennifer wrote about her time spent in Paris. I still have In the Midst of Life to read and look forward to it.
Jun 24, 2015 Abbey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Abbey by: Fans of Call the Midwife
I really enjoyed reading about the various ways that Jennifer Worth's books affected her readers and reading their own memories, in relation to their jobs, their interactions with nurses or their memories of specific people Jennifer mentioned. It was also very interesting learning more about her life in France and her continued friendships with the people mentioned within the books.
Oct 12, 2014 Kelly rated it liked it
I did not enjoy this one as well as the trilogy, but, then again, they weren't really written by Jennifer Worth. They are fan letters written to her. Some people lived in the East End at the same time as her, some were also nurses or midwives, and others just real fans. The book has small anecdotes, and is worth reading if the subject really interests you.
Katrina Oliver
Jul 12, 2014 Katrina Oliver rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book but felt it was nowhere near as good as the originals. It was nice to have a further book by this author but it was apparent that this was published after her death as it did feel a little patched together and sparse in areas. The original trilogy were so wonderful to read and this book fell short of the quality of the originals.
Jul 17, 2014 Sharon rated it liked it
Not as enjoyable as the midwife series, but a lovely insight into the woman behind the books. It was lovely to see the letters written to Jennifer Worth and to know that others enjoyed the books as much as me.
I don't think I will ever write to a author, but it was nice to see what people did write when so enamoured.
Mar 15, 2014 Angela rated it it was ok
After having read all the books in the Midwife series I had high hopes for this book. However, I found it a bit boring and it smacked of the publisher's desire to add more books to the series even though the author has now passed away.
I won't read it again.
Sep 16, 2015 Barb rated it it was amazing
Beautiful warm letters from Worth's fans and return letters from her. Great addition to her "Call the Midwife" trilogy.
Knitting Pipeline
Jul 24, 2016 Knitting Pipeline rated it really liked it
I read this sporadically during the past few months. The letters seem very repetitive but once in a while there was an interesting comment.
Oct 11, 2014 Rachel rated it it was amazing
I have fallen in love with this author. She creates a beautiful world which I found myself quickly becoming lost in. I would highly recommend.
Joanne Fox
Joanne Fox rated it did not like it
Feb 02, 2015
Leia Wileur
Leia Wileur rated it it was amazing
Dec 23, 2015
Barbara Campbell
Barbara Campbell rated it it was amazing
Aug 06, 2016
Angela Triggs
Angela Triggs rated it really liked it
Aug 29, 2015
Jessica rated it liked it
May 27, 2016
Willow rated it it was amazing
Nov 25, 2015
Paula Burgess
Paula Burgess rated it it was amazing
Apr 21, 2015
Emily Brady
Emily Brady rated it it was amazing
Jul 18, 2016
Ms Hayley E Lang
Ms Hayley E Lang rated it really liked it
Aug 27, 2016
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Goodreads Librari...: ISBN: 9781780224640 4 14 May 29, 2015 04:21PM  
  • Nurse On Call: The True Story of a 1950s District Nurse
  • Yes Sister, No Sister: My Life as a Trainee Nurse in 1950s Yorkshire
  • Getting Personal: Selected Essays
  • A Literary Education and Other Essays
  • Hildegard of Bingen: A Visionary Life
  • Bundles of Joy
  • The Jewish Daughter Diaries
  • Hypatia of Alexandria: Mathematician and Martyr
  • A Scrap of Time and Other Stories
  • London War Notes, 1939-1945
  • The Golden Willow: The Story of a Lifetime of Love
  • Daughter Of China
  • Tales of a Midwife
  • The God That Failed
  • London: A Social History
  • Twelve Babies on a Bike: Diary of a Pupil Midwife
  • The Midwife's Sister: The Story of Call The Midwife's Jennifer Worth by her sister Christine
  • Dime Stories
Worth, born Jennifer Lee while her parents were on holiday in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, was raised in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. After leaving school at the age of 14, she learned shorthand and typing and became the secretary to the head of Dr Challoner's Grammar School. She then trained as a nurse at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, and moved to London to receive training to become a midwife.

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