The Midwife’s Here! by Linda Fairley

A quick rundown… The story of how one of Britain’s longest serving midwives became a nurse and midwife in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Strengths: Interesting to see how things have changed

Weaknesses: Lacked the emotion seen in Jennifer Worth’s stories (perhaps because it’s ghost written)

Why I read it: Withdrawal from Call the Midwife and also in the Book Depository Bargain Bin

Pages: 308

Published: 2012

Publisher: Harper Element

Setting: England

Rating: 6.5 out of 10

I am one of those people who always look in the bargain bins/reduced to clear items at the shops. Most of the time there’s nothing I want there, but sometimes you get a gem. Hence I often take a look at the sale/bargain section of book websites, and I’ve found some great books and new authors that way.

While I didn’t strike gold with The Midwife’s Here!, it did relieve some of my withdrawal symptoms from Call the Midwife. Linda Fairley is one of Britain’s longest serving midwives, and this is the story of her nursing and midwifery training, which took place in Manchester in the late 1960s and 1970s. I think I should mention too that Linda has written this with the aid of a ghost-writer (something not mentioned until the end of the book). While it doesn’t make much difference to the story, I felt it may have had an effect on dulling down the emotions that Linda felt. The book felt a bit clinical at times, although there are some very happy (and very sad) moments.

I always enjoy stories of nursing training in days gone by and it was fun to read of Linda’s stories. I thought that it was excellent that when Linda explained some of the now outdated practices that they learned during training, she also informed the reader of the current practice. Very important should anyone be looking for practical pointers! Linda’s lack of faith in nursing as a career for her, then finding her calling as a midwife was quite uplifting too. For those who are looking for more midwifery over nursing, be aware that the first half of the book deals with Linda’s general nursing training. I didn’t mind this, but others may!

Linda’s story is continued in Bundles of Joy, this time focusing on her work as a midwife in the 1970s and beyond. Will I read it? Maybe – I’m not as interested in midwifery as I am in medicine, but should I see it again in the bargain bin…

One thought on “The Midwife’s Here! by Linda Fairley

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  1. This looks interesting. I used to love reading about nurses training in the “good old days” of black stockings, caps, and student nurses as cheap labor.

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