Worth, Jennifer "Call the Midwife: a true story of the East End in the 1950s" - 2002
I don't think I would have picked up this book if it hadn't been for a suggestion in the book club. And before you start wondering: no, I haven't seen the series.
The nice part of the book, it wasn't anything close to chick lit. There was a lot about the change of medical care given to mothers and children before and after birth from the war until today, a lot of it I could understand well since I have given birth twice myself. And even if you're not from the UK and might not relate from the changes the NHS (National Health Service) made at the time, I think one can still relate to it.
It was nice to read the stories written by a real midwife herself, how she got into the job and how the conditions were at the time. She gives a lot of cases as examples and we get to meet everyone she worked with, both the other midwives, the nuns and her patients and their families. Some interesting cases, as well, maybe especially since she worked in quite a poor area of London but I guess there are always stories to be told about the beginning of any life.
So, yes, quite a nice read. I might even want to watch the television series.
From the back cover: "Life in London's East End in the 1950s was tough. The brothels of Cable Street, the Kray brothers and gang warfare, the meths drinkers in the bombsites - this was the world Jennifer Worth entered when she became a midwife at the age of twenty-two. Babies were born in slum conditions, often with no running water. Funny, disturbing and moving, Call the Midwife brings to life a world that has now changed beyond measure."