Farewell to the East End

The world’s a poorer place without Jennifer Worth.

I’ve just finished the third book which helped inspire the TV series “Call the Midwife”.

The books are more raw than the fayre served up on the TV show.

In this volume we see the terror of “back street abortions”, and meet Hilda who’s husband has spent a year trying to get council housing for her family of six.

They don’t fit the criteria as the only properties being built are too small, so they soldier on in a squalid building suffering WW2 bomb damage.

When she finds herself “in the family way again” she digs into her saving for a suitable potion which causes no end of discomfort but utterly fails to get the desired end result.

A few weeks later a rather unsavoury insertion causes further agony, and nearly kills the expectant Mum.

The tragic story gets worse, but you’ll have to read it yourself to see how desperate things get.

The lighter side of the book deals with the wonderful characters of Nonnatus House, particularly the eccentric Sister Monica, and clumsy Chummy. Its touching to see how one the most irritating residents garners the greatest affection.

Other stories include a rope lad, and a 35 stone woman experiencing an unexpected delivery, and a policeman who falls for a midwife from highest echelons on the Empire.

The last proper chapter “Adieu” covers the fates of the various characters after Jenny Lee moved on. These pages rank alongside the closing scene in “Day of the Jackal” for being beautifully written and sending the reader off on a high.

In case your wondering – we’re still keeping well, and I hope you are too.

Happy Christmas to you and yours.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: