All my friend were talking about a television series called Call the Midwife and praising it, so when the book the series was based on turned up for $2.99 I figured it was worth a try. I wasn’t wrong. This well written memoir from one of the midwives of Nonnatus House is full of delightful stories about being a midwife in a area of the docks of east London.
Her stories are full of fascinating characters among the nuns of Nonnatus House, her clients and families, and the other midwives. They work hard, sometimes nearly around the clock. Babies don’t respect shift work and come when they’re ready. If you are on call, you go. No wonder these women had the respect and protection they needed to go out alone along the dock at all hours of the day or night.
Life was hard for the dock workers and pay was low. In spite of this, men and women stayed together and children were loved and cared for by large extended families. Material goods were few, but there was always nearly always enough love to go around. When there wasn’t, a good home could be found for a newborn.
These are gripping stories of a time gone by. The slums have been pulled down and the people scattered. The author left midwifery to pursue her dream of music. Fortunately for us, before she left, she preserved the memory of a life filled with joy and hard times.