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BOOK OF THE MONTH

Call The Midwife by Jennifer Worth

Jennifer Wharf's recollections of her life and work in 1950s London. A young girl, Jenny Lee, surprised at herself, takes a job as a midwife at the congregation of St Raymond Nonnatus in the East End. Dirty streets with traces of the recent war, noisy docks, overcrowded blocks of flats, crime and extreme poverty - in the mid-twentieth century, this area could not be called prosperous. The community's nurses and nuns were then the only ones tirelessly caring for women from poor working families.

Working as a midwife, the author observed the difficult lives of these people day by day, witnessed their tragedies and joys, and became convinced of the incredible strength of their characters.

At the end of her life, Jennifer Wharf wrote a remarkable book about that time, about nuns and ordinary East Enders, the first account in literature of the selfless labour of midwives.

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