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Review: The Midwife’s Sister by Christine Lee

PUBLISHED: 14:50 26 May 2015 | UPDATED: 14:50 26 May 2015

The Midwife’s Sister Book Cover

The Midwife’s Sister Book Cover

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Annette Shaw reviews The Midwife’s Sister by Christine Lee

Christine LeeChristine Lee

Published by PanMacmillan. Paperback £7.99

Sunday night television is never quite the same without Call The Midwife. So it was a treat to hear from Winstone’s Books in Sidmouth that local resident Christine Lee had written a book about her sister, Jennifer Worth who’s memoires formed the basis of the TV series. Then it turned into quite a shock. The road to Jenny Agutter was far from straightforward.

“..my sister had her suitcase packed by our mother and was put out on the doorstep - never to return. She left with her things in the small brown battered case and I watched her on the doorstep as my mother closed the door behind her.”

Growing up in the war years sisters Jennifer and Christine suffered neglect when their parents divorced and idyllic childhood years were shattered. As the book progresses it’s an eye-opener in terms of what both girls suffered and to their credit, went on to achieve. Christine and Jennifer both trained as nurses at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. How Jennifer then got to Poplar is a story in itself. After leaving nursing she took up a career in music and Christine became a sculptor living for some years in North Devon at Parracombe.

For anyone who is hooked on the series it fills in a lot of gaps. From being a fascinating read about nursing in the 1950s to success in new careers, The Midwife’s Sister is a very honest account of what makes and breaks families and what will always be one of the most complex of relationships - siblings.

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