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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Midwife's Here! The Enchanting True Story of One of Britain's Longest Serving Midwives, by Linda Fairley

Linda Fairley began her training to become a nurse right out of high school. She nearly decided to give up on her dream of becoming a nurse about halfway through her training, when her Matron at the hospital steered her in the direction of becoming a midwife. Linda finished her training as a nurse as a prerequisite for training as a midwife. She went on to become one of Britain's longest serving midwives, spending more than 40 years as a midwife at the same hospital, Ashton General, later renamed Tameside.

This book details her three years training as a nurse, and a year training as a midwife. She has a gift for describing characters. Her mentor midwife is a hoot. Mrs. Fairley does not include salacious details, making her book an easier and more comfortable book to read than the Call the Midwife series of books (at least the section describing prostitution in detail). I would be comfortable allowing my children to read The Midwife's Here!, but not comfortable allowing them to read Call the Midwife.

I really enjoyed this book, and the glimpse of life in mid-century Britain it offers. I like reading birth stories, and it is interesting to reflect on how many practices have changed since the period the book talks about (such as the rate of breastfeeding). Mrs. Fairley has a sequel to this book, and I look forward to reading it.

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