The Midwife's Sister

The Midwife's Sister

Book - 2015
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In this memoir, Jennifer Worth's sister, Christine, takes us from their early idyllic years to the cruelty and neglect they suffered after their parents divorced, from Jennifer being forced to leave home at fourteen to their training as nurses. After leaving nursing Jennifer took up a career in music, her first love, and Christine became a sculptor, but through marriages and children, joy and heartbreak, their lives remained intertwined.
Publisher: London : Pan Books, 2015.
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9781447282648
Branch Call Number: 941.0840922 LEE
Characteristics: 339 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 20 cm


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Nov 19, 2017

I never would have imagined that these 2 sisters had such a difficult home life. Its fairly scandalous considering the decade in which they were born. They both do their best to move on and make a life for themselves in spite of their early years.

It's a compelling read, very hard to put down and even though they had a rough start there is generous sprinklings of hope once you get past their early years.

Apr 02, 2017

Good book about the insights of Jenny Lee and Christine Lee's life before the start of Call the Midwife Also, interesting to read about Jenny's life post CTM as well. In the TV series she was sent directly to Marie Curie hospital as a palliative care nurse . In the book and in real life she worked in many different places in between Nonnatus House and Marie Curie . This book only briefly summarized the nurse training for both of them . For a more detailed insight to nursing school in the 60s, you may want to read " it won't hurt a bit " it's available at CPL .

CatherineG_1 Mar 17, 2016

I was quite curious to read about the lives of Christine Lee and her famous sister, Jennifer Worth, author of Call The Midwife. As another reader states, their real life story could quite easily be another miniseries. These two girls were used and abused by their parents and stepparents like pawns in a chess game.
Jennifer bore the brunt of the hardships and as a result turned into quite a hardened person. Christine always wanted to be closer to her sister, spending most of her life trying to decipher their relationship. Both girls led unconventional lives which made for interesting reading. My only criticism was at the very end, I was confused by a number of people who came back into their lives.

Dec 30, 2015

It must be so difficult to be the sibling of a famous person. For author Christine Lee, her sister Jennifer Worth became a best selling writer when she recounted her experiences as a midwife in post war England in the book "Call The Midwife". Then the book was adapted for TV and became the popular and much loved series.
This book "The Midwife's Sister" obviously was written to ride the coattails of her sisters success. But it is a little more than that and a look into the shocking abusive childhood they both endured. For example, Jennifer was kicked out of the house at 14 by her stepfather for being downstairs and playing the piano at 5 p.m. He slammed the piano key cover down on her little hands. Both girls were supposed to hide upstairs when he was there as he never wanted to see them. Their mother puts up with this abuse. They were also starved and generally ignored by both parents. The scars affected them for the rest of their lives. Jennifer takes up with a much older married man when she is only 15. He was a headmaster at her school. Today that would be criminal but in those days he got away with it. Jennifer 'loved' him all her life-for fans of the CTM series this is the man Jennie Lee left to go to the convent and start being a midwife.
This is really not a very well written book but an accounting of their lives and they were apart a lot of the time. Jennifer leaves nursing and spends her time learning and playing music and singing in choirs. Christine marries at least 4 times and becomes a rather well known sculptor.
Is it worth reading? Yes-only because the story is so interesting.
I have to wonder if there will be a tv series from this book especially the childhood and early teen years? That would be a fascinating look into the origins of 'Call the Midwife' and a not so long ago but very different time.

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