Shadows of the Workhouse pdf free download – Book reviews


Author(s): Jennifer WorthDownload  


In this follow up to CALL THE MIDWIFE, Jennifer Worth, a midwife working in the docklands area of East London in the 1950s tells more stories about the people she encountered.There’s Jane, who cleaned and generally helped out at Nonnatus House – she was taken to the workhouse as a baby and was allegedly the illegitimate daughter of an aristocrat. Peggy and Frank’s parents both died within 6 months of each other and the children were left destitute. At the time, there was no other option for them but the workhouse. The Reverend Thornton-Appleby-Thorton, a missionary in Africa, visits the Nonnatus nuns and Sister Julienne acts as matchmaker. And Sister Monica Joan, the eccentric ninety-year-old nun, is accused of shoplifting some small items from the local market. She is let off with a warning, but then Jennifer finds stolen jewels from Hatton Garden in the nun’s room.These stories give a fascinating insight into the resilience and spirit that enabled ordinary people to overcome their difficulties.

Some Reviews: 1676 in


Abbs rated it      

A brilliant piece of historical literature. Written with numbing clarity, this novel opens up a world that I would never want to live in. The horrors that countless people endured just to see the next day’s dawn, I don’t think I would have had the resilience to survive myself. As with every other literary piece I have read, this novel is more gripping than its televised version. Specifically, I enjoyed that Jane had a proper ending to her story by marring the Reverend. The descriptions of what happened in the workhouse institutions of England during these times were mentally graphic and almost scarring. Even so, I appreciate the hard work Ms. Worth put in to bring out such stories of survival amid striking abuse. The decapitating emotional effects of the Boer War, World War I and World War II was quite vivid. Many today focus on the post traumatic effects that the hell of war brings…however, this novel has brought out the emotional aspect of losing whole families all at once, suffocating loneliness. As much as society looks at first world countries as first rate, their halls of history are filled with barbaric stories of the type of people those countries have graciously been built by.


Debbie rated it      

I am not as eloquent as some when I write a review but let me give it a go! I enjoyed reading Jenny Lee’s journal of her work as a midwife in the East End of London among the poor and impoverished. One thought that stood out to me was that when the poor are left to their own devices, they become as the animals. I learned from this that not only are we to help in the poor just because they need it but that we also need to raise them up so they realize their worth and potential.

I enjoyed her accounts of being a midwife and her relationship with the nuns. I particularly enjoyed her account of Joe, the WWI veteran. Please, lets not let our country treat our veterans as he was treated! I sobbed after reading her account of her relationship with this sweet man. You’ll have to read it for yourself because I would just spoil it for you!

My happiest and saddest moments in reading about Jenny Worth was learning that she did marry and have a family. The sad moment was learning that she passed away in 2011. She lived a full life and she gave us the benefit of what she learned.


Laurie rated it     

Still so fascinating. This one was not about midwifery, instead it was predominantly about the workhouses. Rather than many small stories like the first book this one has five main stories: a brother and sister and their friend who grew up in the workhouse, ancient Sister Monica Joan is accused of thievery and goes to trial, and the very best story is last about the history and current condition of an elderly ex-soldier Jenny works with daily and forms a strong friendship with.
The first stories must take some liberties as they’re told from the perspective of the three as children and that’s a bit shady, so it doesn’t feel as “memoir” but the bare truth without assumptions still makes for incredible stories. The best quote of the book comes from feisty, old Sis Monica Joan when she says, “”Bah! Suffragettes. I’ve no time for suffragettes. They made the biggest mistake in history. They went for equality. They should have gone for power!”
I love the way Worth writes these memoirs and am looking forward to the last of the set.

Amanda K

Amanda K rated it     

Forgot to do the update when I finished the first book, so it all sort of becomes one review. I was surprised at how much I came to enjoy this book series. I had watched the TV series sporadically, and I always thought it was great, but it’s nothing compared to the books. I learned so much! It was the perfect mix between intriguing drama and the cold, hard truth, and I would recommend it to everybody. It really gives you a better understanding about the stories of life, and it shows just how much we have evolved within medicine. It has been a great read.


Amanda rated it     

I don’t know why but I thoroughly enjoy hearing Mrs. Worth’s stories. Even though I have watched these stories in the series Call The Midwife, I still am on edge to hear how they end up. Indeed, some accounts are slightly different than the show so that probably helps my attentions. This volume didn’t include any births but told of stories about workhouses, Sister Monica Jones, and the war veteran Mr. Collett. It’s interesting to see the other aspect of care the midwives gave to the community. If you enjoyed the first volume by Mrs. Worth for more than the “babies aspect” then I think you’ll like this one too.


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Call the MidwifeShadows of the workhouse: Call the Midwife Series, Book 2 9780062270047, 9780062270054, 0062270052.epub – 883 Kb

Shadows of the Workhouse 9780297856092, – 493 Kb


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