Customer Review

3.0 out of 5 stars Started off well..., 8 Mar 2013
This review is from: Shadows Of The Workhouse: The Drama Of Life In Postwar London (Call The Midwife) (Paperback)
When I opened the cover of Shadows of the Workhouse, I read 80 pages in the first night (who needs sleep, anyway?). I was totally engrossed in the powerful and detailed description of the workhouses and their inhabitants. In Part One, we are introduced to some fascinating characters such as Peggy, Fred and Jane, and the book at this stage really is wonderful. So wonderful that I rushed out to buy another three books by the same author before even getting halfway through this one.

In hindsight I wish I hadn't been so hasty, as Part Two was disappointing. Here we have Sister Monica Joan's trial, which seems to go on forever and I found my eyes glazing over for most of it. Then we move onto Joe Collett, who the author strikes up a friendship with and devotes a good few chapters to his entire life. It does start going off on a tangent at times, with the author adding her own memories to Joe Collett's, resulting in a mish mash of a story. By the time I'd got to the last 50 pages or so, I had started skim reading chunks to get to the end, as I had lost interest by this point.

As other reviewers have commented, the latter part of the book is not in keeping with the theme of the workhouse and seems to have been put in purely to fill the pages.

It is a real shame, as the book had potential to be one of my all time favourites. I have now started to read 'Call the Midwife', which I am hoping will be consistently good throughout.
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Location: London, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,403