Shadows of the Workhouse (Anglais) Broché – 22 janvier 2009
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Présentation de l'éditeur
The sequel to Jennifer Worth's New York Times bestselling memoir and the basis for the PBS series Call the Midwife
When twenty-two-year-old Jennifer Worth, from a comfortable middle-class upbringing, went to work as a midwife in the direst section of postwar London, she not only delivered hundreds of babies and touched many lives, she also became the neighborhood's most vivid chronicler. Woven into the ongoing tales of her life in the East End are the true stories of the people Worth met who grew up in the dreaded workhouse, a Dickensian institution that limped on into the middle of the twentieth century.
Orphaned brother and sister Peggy and Frank lived in the workhouse until Frank got free and returned to rescue his sister. Bubbly Jane's spirit was broken by the cruelty of the workhouse master until she found kindness and romance years later at Nonnatus House. Mr. Collett, a Boer War veteran, lost his family in the two world wars and died in the workhouse.
Though these are stories of unimaginable hardship, what shines through each is the resilience of the human spirit and the strength, courage, and humor of people determined to build a future for themselves against the odds. This is an enduring work of literary nonfiction, at once a warmhearted coming-of-age story and a startling look at people's lives in the poorest section of postwar London.--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .
Biographie de l'auteur
Jennifer Worth trained as a nurse at the Royal Berk-shire Hospital in Reading, and was later ward sister at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital in London, then the Marie Curie Hospital, also in London. Music had always been her passion, and in 1973 she left nursing in order to study music intensively, teaching piano and singing for about twenty-five years. Jennifer died in May 2011 after a short illness, leaving her husband, Philip; two daughters; and three grandchildren. Her books have all been bestsellers in England.--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .
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« Call the midwife ». J’avais hésité à acheter la version intégrale (trilogie), j’aurais dû car à peine le premier livre terminé, j’ai dévoré le deuxième et je viens de finir le troisième (Farewell to the East End).
L’anglais que je ne parle pourtant pas couramment est très accessible, je n’ai eu aucune difficulté à suivre l’intégralité de l’histoire.
Le récit véridique est à la fois touchant et instructif.
J’ai apprécié le côté humain, la qualité des liens affectifs, les caractères bien analysés, la description du travail de sage-femme (souvent détaillée). De plus le livre ne manque pas d’humour. C’est un milieu essentiellement féminin mais en aucun cas « nunuche ou frivole » et par la profondeur de ses réflexions Jennifer Worth exprime avec beaucoup de simplicité son évolution au niveau de la foi.
La version française de la série télévisée va sortir en septembre (2013), je me réjouis déjà de pouvoir la prêter à des connaissances qui n‘ont pas la possibilité de suivre l’histoire en anglais.
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
there are several different stories throughout. All interwoven. All painful and joyful.
if you like to see into peoples lives and hear their stories, this is the books for you. Amazing.
The story of Jane, Frank, and Peggy growing up in the workhouse together, and the long-term emotional effects that it had on them was full of emotional highs and lows. The reader cheers for their successes and cries for them when they are hurt. This story was the most relevant to the author's theme of the effects of the workhouse on those who were still alive two decades after they were officially closed. (Officially only because it would be impossible to just release thousands of poor people into the streets, so the workhouses carried on under other names with only slightly improved conditions for decades.) After this third of the book, I was ready to give it five stars.
The second portion of the book tells the story of Sister Monica Joan being on trial. Without giving anything away, I will just say that Sister Monica Joan was not one of my favorite characters in this or the first book, so a full third of the book focused on her was a little dreary for me. Also, I failed to see what any of it had to do with "living in the shadows of the workhouse." I'm sure others disagree and found this section amusing, but this is what brought it down to four stars for me.
The final part of the book tells the story of Joe Collett, who is an elderly man added to Worth's nursing schedule because of ulcerated war wounds - not wounds from WWII or even WWI, but from the Boer War in 1899. I greatly enjoyed this story of their growing relationship and his reflections on so much of England's history that he had experienced. She becomes the one bright light in his life, and he becomes like a grandfather to her. Collett's life is filled with struggle, ambition, love, and tragedy. The fact that this man who has already been through so much ends up relocated to a workhouse that has been made into a home for the elderly when the Canada tenements are scheduled for demolition, would make the most hard-hearted tear up.
My only concern is that this book is categorized as a non-fiction memoir, but Worth includes detailed dialogue that she would not have been present for, such as that of Peggy and Frank's childhood. It would seem unlikely that either of these people remembered in perfect detail or that they would share it all with Worth. Some of these scenes read more like factual historical fiction than nonfiction even if they are enjoyable to read.