Shadows of the Workhouse

Shadows of the Workhouse

eBook - 2013
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The sequel to Jennifer Worth's New York Times bestselling memoir and the basis for the PBS series Call the Midwife When twenty-two-year-old Jennifer Worth, from a comfortable middle-class upbringing, went to work as a midwife in the direst section of postwar London, she not only delivered hundreds of babies and touched many lives, she also became the neighborhood's most vivid chronicler. Woven into the ongoing tales of her life in the East End are the true stories of the people Worth met who grew up in the dreaded workhouse, a Dickensian institution that limped on into the middle of the twentieth century. Orphaned brother and sister Peggy and Frank lived in the workhouse until Frank got free and returned to rescue his sister. Bubbly Jane's spirit was broken by the cruelty of the workhouse master until she found kindness and romance years later at Nonnatus House. Mr. Collett, a Boer War veteran, lost his family in the two world wars and died in the workhouse. Though these are stories of unimaginable hardship, what shines through each is the resilience of the human spirit and the strength, courage, and humor of people determined to build a future for themselves against the odds. This is an enduring work of literary nonfiction, at once a warmhearted coming-of-age story and a startling look at people's lives in the poorest section of postwar London.
Publisher: 2013
ISBN: 9780062270054
Branch Call Number: E-Book
Characteristics: data file
1 online resource

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Quietday
Apr 11, 2017

I love the Call the Midwife series on the BBC. This is the first book I've read. The workhouse stories were hard to bear, especially the treatment of Jane as a child. So much inhumanity. But Worth's journals as a nurse are always interesting to me. We can't imagine life in the workhouse, how awful that must have been, how families were driven apart by poverty and unfortunate circumstances. At least later in life, there were sparks of happiness for these 3 figures.

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BeckyR21
Jul 07, 2016

Very interesting read. The TV series does an excellent job taking a wonderful book and creating TV worth watching.

cmlibrary_ecrites Apr 20, 2016

I loved this book! What a fascinating look into an equally fascinating time in history.

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wendyfath
Apr 15, 2016

This book in the series does not deal with the 'midwife experience'; rather, Worth focuses more on the workhouse experience and the aftermath through the lives of a number of fascinating characters. She retells their stories with acute sensitivity and brilliant detail. This is a very engaging way to read history.

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cutemegz
Mar 17, 2016

Good read, very touching and mind opening to the struggles of our past. Worth a read, if you are not into reading watch the series, it follows the novel beautifully.

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kheythaler
Mar 15, 2016

Wonderful

k
kheythaler
Mar 15, 2016

if you thought we had it bad, read about the workhouses

k
kheythaler
Mar 15, 2016

Wonderful history, a must read

k
kheythaler
Mar 15, 2016

A must read

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ghreads
Jan 12, 2016

This third book in the Call The Midwife trilogy contains more tales of London’s East End in the late 1950s. This one contains more information than do the other two books about the personalities and histories of the midwives and the nuns of Nonnatus House.

Most of the stories are covered in the excellent TV productions based on the books but the books provide much more detail and are, in some cases, more shocking and horrifying.

Like the first books in the series, this book is well written and is a wonderful read, full of interesting characters and stories. It is all the more fascinating because the stories are true. This books wraps up the series well by telling us what happened to the main characters, Nonnatus House and the East End after the time-frame covered by the books so we are not left wondering about their futures.

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zeegirl602
Feb 04, 2017

zeegirl602 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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so_yun
Jun 06, 2013

different stories from memorable events while the author was training as a midwife in London't East End where people are mostly poor and speak with Cockney accent with influx of new immigrants.

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mvkramer Mar 24, 2014

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Like the first volume's chapter about the young prostitute Mary, this volume has a very violent scene emerge from nowhere in the chapter entitled "Nancy." This chapter relates the incredibly brutal story of a girl getting "surgically raped" (just the phrase squicks me out). Skip this chapter if you're a more sensitive reader.

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