Monday, December 1, 2014

Shadows Of The Workhouse

Jennifer Worth is a midwife working in London East End during the 1950s. She also worked as a nurse. In this book, the focus is on people who have been in the workhouses, and what their experiences were. Instead of focusing on her midwifery experiences as in the first book. The main stories are about Jane, Frank and Peggy, Joseph Collett, Sister Monica Joan, and Reverend Applebee-Thornton.

This is the second book in Jennifer Worth's Call The Midwife trilogy. Like the first book, Shadows Of The Workhouse also tells some of Jenny's experience working in east end London. The first book, Call The Midwife, had many stories that gave us little glimpses into people's lives. This book only has a few stories that go into more detail. They also highlight the real fear people had of the workhouses(in place from the government to help the poor) and explain why such fear existed.

I thought this was a great follow up to the first book. It was interesting to learn about people Jenny was close to. I think it helped me understand a little more about who Jenny was, and the larger scope of the challenges she faced working in the East End. Another great example of the struggle to survive, and it gave a very human face to that struggle. The real difference to me between the first book and this one was that this one was more focused on other people than just on Jenny and her experiences. While I still liked this book, I did not like it as much as the first book. I did appreciate the writing. There are a lot of details that can be hard to read, but are very important for understanding that time period.

I recommend reading this book.

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