Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Midwife by Jennifer Worth a.k.a. Call the Midwife

The Midwife is a memoir about...A Midwife!...in 1950s London helping women deliver their babies. I learned a lot about the world of healthcare before there was healthcare, a new scientific word to describe part of my lady bits, and also a little about workhouses. For instance, I was not aware that families were separated upon entering workhouses. Sad.

My book club read this book and chose it because most of them watch the show, so I thought I would like it a lot. I'm sorry to say that I just thought it was o.k. I think part of the reason is that I never had kids nor do I want to have kids. To me reading about that stuff was gross, especially the chapter when she talked about smelly vaginas. Vomit. I was also surprised to learn how poor the sanitation system was back then, inspiring some more disgusting descriptions of living conditions. Gag me.

The final chapter was the last bummer for me. So the whole time she's living with these nuns. At the beginning she mentions that she's agnostic, at Christmas she mentions how much she likes the holiday church festivities, and then BAM! Last chapter she's a total convert. It bugged me that the whole story was about midwifery and her friends, but secretly it was just a means for her to prosthelytize.

The stories are interesting and move at a good pace, but I would recommend childless agnostics and atheists stick to James Herriot.

P.S. This book fulfills my memoir requirement for the Eclectic Reader Challenge.

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