Farewell to the East End is the last book that Worth wrote concerning her time in London’s East End working as a midwife in the 1950s, but interestingly not the last book she wrote about nursing. I am planning to read those as well. Once again Worth splits up parts of the narrative telling stories about her fellow midwives, Trixie, Cynthia, and Chummy.
After reading her previous books, I believe this is the least well laid out, which doesn’t mean to say it is bad. It just jumps back and forth between time periods, and occasionally Worth interjects with medical opinions. The stories covered are both odd and compelling. We learn about identical twins who share a husband and some odd ideas about medicine. We are also cheering for Chummy and her coming nuptials. The book ends with Chummy’s wedding and it is fitting that Worth wraps it all up neatly by sharing how each kept or lost touch with the others and what happened to the Sisters and their charitable work.
One of the aspects I felt most revealing in the series as a whole is the lack of judgment the nuns seem to place on those with whom they come into contact. There are unwed mothers, people clearly having affairs, and those attempting back street abortions. The nuns make no distinction and no judgment and seem to care indiscriminately. After hearing so much negative news about the Catholic church and organized religion in general, it is refreshing to see a first hand account of true charity. I think this was a lovely addition and would recommend it.