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In the Midst of Life

In the Midst of Life [Kindle Edition]

Jennifer Worth
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (238 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'Few readers will fail to be moved by her stories, which are artfully used to examine some of the genuine societal dilemmas death presents, and to point up the ill effects that flow from the mixture of embarassment, denial and avoidance with which we surround it.' TLS 'This is a taboo subject and makes absolutely gripping reading because it is one that, whether we like it or not, is going to matter enormously to each and every one of us.' GOOD BOOK GUIDE

Book Description

The last collection of true-life nursing stories from the No.1 bestselling author of the CALL THE MIDWIFE series, soon to be a major BBC TV series.

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More About the Author

Jennifer Worth was a nurse, midwife, ward sister and night sister from 1953 until 1973, working mainly 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. All Jennifer's books have been bestsellers and Call the Midwife is now a major BBC TV adaptation.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
100 of 100 people found the following review helpful
By Mike
This courageous book should be read widely, especially by the medical profession and those who are elderly or have elderly relatives. Jennifer Worth takes the subject of dying, and examines it with examples from her own acquaintance and in all its manifestations--bad deaths, good deaths, and resucitation. Dying is something we all have to go through, but in the UK it is a subject that is rarely discussed. The 'normal' English death and funeral are tightlipped and sober. Elsewhere. for example, Ireland and the Carribean, the wake and funeral are a real celebration of a life, with friends and relations, old and young, attending. Adults and children thereby understand that the dead person whom they loved was somebody of significance whose life should be cherished. The second topic Mrs Worth examines is the resucitation of people who have had strokes, accidents or are simply dying of old age, again a question that has not been debated adequately in the UK. Whoever you are, and however old or ill or severely incapacitated you are, a medical team if it is called, will attempt to resucitate you. If it can't, this is seen as a failure. This often results in people continuing to live in a very poor state, and Mrs Worth questions whether such interventions are justified in all cases and clearly answers 'no'. Mrs Worth has done us all a service by raising and examining these issues. The book is not difficult or macabre but, on the contrary inspiring, and the personal examples interesting. As usual, her style is personal and direct, and it is very easy to empathise with those whose cases are being described. A 5* recommendation.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a hard book to read but I am so glad I did 18 Feb 2011
By suet
This was not an easy book to read. I work with dementia patients. My Mother is 92 and 2 years into this awful disease. How wonderful our medical services are but have we gone too far? Do we have a choice about resuscitation/invasive medical procedures? I was in A&E yet again with my Mother, having been ambulated in after another TIA and I was frowned upon as I reminded the senior nurse that my Mother had chosen not to be resuscitated. "You will have to see the doctor about that!" We have now asked the Care Home NOT to have her admitted if she is not in pain or fallen & broken anything, but "they have to cover themselves because of litigation"!! I have seen so many die a far worse lingering death after 'medical intervention' in later life. I am not saying there are any easy answers but why as a society do we not talk about Death and ask the questions? This should be one of the books read by every medical student, doctor, Care Manager,and many more! In the end, reading this book has made me even more LIVE and appreciate the LIFE I have left and LIVE every day to the full, and wear a pendant - NO RESUSCITATION PLEASE!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking but difficult read 24 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Read the previous three books and loved them, and so wanted to "complete" the set.
Beautifully written in a very natural way, which is what makes Ms Worth such a lovely author.
Found the stories facinating and heart-breaking, was a very hard book to read having lost my mum very suddenly last year, and at times I wondered why I was putting myself through it as was finding it quite upsetting at times, but as with all her books you have to go on. I've gone onto a fluffy girly book to recover, but on reflection it makes me sad because I would have loved to have been with my mum at the end, calmly and peacefully as described in the book, sending her on her way. But it's wasnt to be and that cant be changed. I think more people are realising that going back to a more old fashioned end at home without all the medical intervention is what most of us want & need, and thanks to the angels from Marie Curie and other organisations, this is possible for some. None of us can really decide our end of life any more that what happens in it, it's as random as a toss of a coin. And accepting that is something I'm coming to terms with.
Always sad to come across an author like this and read their books after they have died, you would love more but there really is no chance, and as with all her books this is the kind of book you want to find other people who have read it and have a good chat about it.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dangerous subject bravely discussed 5 Mar 2011
In The Midst of life is thought-provoking and readable, even at bedtime. My husband thought it very strange that I, normally so squeamish, kept the light on an extra ten minutes so I could finish reading about Mr Waters as he drowned in his own gurgling bubbling lungs !

Jennifer doesn't pull any punches with her graphic and factual descriptions of medical conditions and procedures. However, her writing is so engaging that the stories and characters always rise above the gruesome detail. She always elevates and celebrates the human. This makes the book very sad in places, for as much as she loves and cares for the people in the stories, she cannot prevent the distress and indignity that many of them suffer as they near the end.

The book makes us think about death as part of life and to accept it rather than fight it. I was slightly miffed when I got to the last few pages and read that Jennifer thinks that fear of death is caused by a lack of faith. I regard myself as an atheist. I don't think of death as a returning to God, but neither do I think of it as a mere decaying of flesh and bones. I think of death as part of the natural cycle of birth, death and regeneration.

This last paragraph is not a criticism, in fact it is the opposite. The fact That Jennifer promotes such thinking and discussion is a high commendation. I would also like to commend the beautiful poems of Philip Worth and David Hart, they add so much to the book and I read them again and again.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book
Found this book so interesting as a nurse myself could relate so much to entries in this well written book,spiritually very. Thought provoking moved to tears beautiful writing
Published 2 hours ago by Gwen Hilton
5.0 out of 5 stars IN THE MIDST OF LIFE
I am still reading this book. It is brilliant. Jennifer Worth is a very good writer, and she covers a difficult subject - death and dying - very well.
Published 1 day ago by R. Baxter
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the 50s. Her story is told with wit and charm and would entertain young and old alike.
Published 2 days ago by Carole A. Godfrey
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting and moving
Unlike her other books this is more fact based and a true eye opener. Since reading this book I no longer fear death. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Andrew Ramsey
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I find the stories addictive Jennifer Worth is a great story teller these books excel the TV series by far A good read
Published 4 days ago by Mr. Ian Andrew Kleinberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
a very good read especially considering it's topic which to some is hard to imagine, well done Jennifer
you tell your stories with lots of compassion
Published 5 days ago by Angela Joan Wallace
5.0 out of 5 stars IN THE MIDST OF LIFE
It was another masterpiece by Jennifer Worth, but so different from the Trilogy. Some of it I found to be very disturbing - in fact I lent the book to a friend who couldn't bear... Read more
Published 17 days ago by gillian smith
5.0 out of 5 stars In the midst of Life
Fabulous book couldn't put it down. Glad it was in Kindle form as I am finding books too heavy due to arthritis. This Author is fantastic and have read many books she has written. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Mrs. E. A. Wake
5.0 out of 5 stars Fire in heart
Excellently written book looking at a very emotional Subject. The writer knows her reads well and what they like from her
Published 20 days ago by Dot Emberson
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
Seen the tv series..... books every bit as good if not better and good reflection of the time and place
Published 26 days ago by Cora
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Popular Highlights

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There is not a single dying human being who does not yearn for love, touch, understanding, and whose heart does not break from the withdrawal of those who should be drawing near. &quote;
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Each of us is going to die, whether we like it or not, but it only hinders acceptance of the fact if we never come near it. &quote;
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if we witnessed the peace and tranquillity that is given to us in the last hours before death, we would be less afraid. &quote;
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