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#BookmarkMonday (261): Whoooo knows how to tweet en français?


As last week's Shakespeare Hamlet bookmark* was waaay out my price range, I decided that there are more affordable but equally beautiful options available.

I came across Emaux Diane Charuest* of Quebec who created beautifully detailed enameled copper bookmarks with whimsical renditions of the birds of Quebec, Canada.

For some reason, the enamel owl bookmark* reminds me of Winnie the Pooh's very own owl! It's my personal favourite (must be the expression?)


Here's a blue heron!


And lastly, the ruby-throated hummingbird.*

Three beautiful birds - which is your pick?

*Affiliate link


Guiltless Reading

#BookmarkMonday is a weekly meme that started in 2009. Link up your bookmark below! Don't forget to share your love for bookmarks, whether yours or you dream of making them yours:
  • Post about it on your blog/twitter/pinterest and link up below. 
  • Or share your pic with the #BookmarkMonday hashtag on Twitter so I can go check it out! 
  • If you'd like to post on the #BookmarkMonday Pinterest Board, shoot me an email at readerrabbit22 at gmail.com and I'll add you as a contributor.


Link Up HERE!

Call the Midwife. I need book 2 stat. {Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth}



Screen, paper: do them both!

Synopsis of Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth*: London's East End in the 1950s was a tough place: the struggles of post-war life - bombsites, overcrowded tenements, crime, brothels - bred a culture of tight-knit family communities, larger-than-life characters and a lively social scene.

It was into this world that Jennifer Worth entered as a trainee midwife. But docklands life was tough, and babies were often born in slum conditions. In funny, disturbing and heartbreaking stories, Jennifer Worth recounts her time among nuns, prostitutes, abortionists, bigamists, gangsters and expectant mothers, portraying East Enders' amazing resilience - and their warmth and humour in the face of hardship.

Written with affection and nostalgia, her midwife stories chronicle the lives, traditions and tales of a bygone era.


My two cents

Oh, movies. Or in this case, Netflix. *sigh* They spoil the book sometimes. I bingewatched the Netflix series and loved it so much that I couldn't wait to dig into the book. I can't review the book without sounding like a silly broken record, so read the Netflix review I FIRST. (Then come back and this review will be waiting).
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No, I'm serious. Go on, read it first.
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So, you're back from my glowing review of the Netflix series, I see. Settle down with a cuppa and let's chat.

So, yes, I loved the book!

Lest you think I hated the book, that's not the case. The book is amazing. It's a truly affecting and provoking memoir. I appreciated the epilogue which gave Worth's short personal history as well as summing up some of her key observations and realizations about her time as a midwife. It is a critical piece, as it sets the stage for the realizations that are bound to happen to you as a reader.

Overall, the book (and the series) are meaningful to me because it made me appreciate so many things that we take for granted today. If we think about how recent the 1950s is, it seems shocking to imagine the squalid conditions and the poverty of England during the time.

Even more shocking is to me is that it highlights a time where medicine was still practically in its infancy, at least against today's standards! It seems almost medieval to think of a mostly uninformed and almost barbaric methods for abortion, of separating single mothers from their children without any heed for the psychological and physical trauma this inflicts, a dearth of reliable contraception, the prevalence of tuberculosis and other totally curable diseases, and the lack of understanding of PTSD.

But let's focus on midwifery. Worth mentions that midwives are never the subject of books. Before I read this book, try as hard as I could, I couldn't remember a title of one book that dealt with the subject matter. Can you recall one?

What strikes me as even more ironic is that Worth and the midwives she worked with, with the exception of some of the older nun midwives, were in their early 20s. The gravity of their work at a young age astounds me - delivering countless children when they themselves have never borne one!

Summed up with the huge strides made in medicine in the past few generations, and the tireless work that these young women dedicated a better part of their lives, it has allowed for the life-changing benefits for women, children and communities. The impacts of this period of hardship and learning continue to influence society's attitudes towards caring for the mother's and child's well-being. We're truly blessed indeed!


Uh-ohs

Now, the disappointing news. I caution anyone who watches the series first that if you're reading the book, you will recognize some major deviations in the storyline of each of the episodes. I got slightly confused, for example, that the story of one person in a Netflix episode is actually a mishmash of the stories of 2-3 people. Credit to the screenplay writers of the series, though, to be able to cram in so much detail into one episode. I like to think of the two media as separate experiences in themselves. I simply choose to immerse myself into the written word at the moment but will no doubt rewatch the series again.

Verdict

Read the book. Watch the Netflix series. Be provoked and inspired.

Links


Book Depository*

#Friday56 & #BookBeginnings: Tigers in Red Weather


"I'm not sure if it's a blessing or a curse," Helena said.
- p. 1

For Friday 56:
"Nick, you really are impossible. You want too much. It's like flying in the face of God, as Mother used to say.
- p. 56

Synopsis Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann*: Nick and her cousin, Helena, have grown up sharing sultry summer heat, sunbleached boat docks, and midnight gin parties on Martha's Vineyard in a glorious old family estate known as Tiger House. In the days following the end of the Second World War, the world seems to offer itself up, and the two women are on the cusp of their 'real lives': Helena is off to Hollywood and a new marriage, while Nick is heading for a reunion with her own young husband, Hughes, about to return from the war.

Soon the gilt begins to crack. Helena's husband is not the man he seemed to be, and Hughes has returned from the war distant, his inner light curtained over. On the brink of the 1960s, back at Tiger House, Nick and Helena--with their children, Daisy and Ed--try to recapture that sense of possibility. But when Daisy and Ed discover the victim of a brutal murder, the intrusion of violence causes everything to unravel. The members of the family spin out of their prescribed orbits, secrets come to light, and nothing about their lives will ever be the same. Brilliantly told from five points of view, with a magical elegance and suspenseful dark longing, Tigers in Red Weather is an unforgettable debut novel from a writer of extraordinary insight and accomplishment.


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Another old favourite that I enjoyed in 2012, a debut novel by Liza Klaussmann. Here's my review

I enjoyed Klaussmann's writing so much that I also read her Villa America last year.  A little bit of trivia: did you know that Klaussmann is the great-great-great granddaughter of Herman Melville!


*Affiliate link

#BookmarkMonday (260): Shakespeare (outrageous price!)



Not all bookmarks are equal. This Shakespeare Hamlet bookmark* is a work of art that with its outrageous price tag (C$673!) and better belongs under glass on the wall, rather than potentially lurking and getting lost in a book.

This artisanal bookmark is created by SilverLeaf,* a company in Italy. It is entirely handcrafted with silver. If you love beautiful things, I encourage you to check out the video on SilverLeaf* Etsy page to fully appreciate the thought and craftsmanship behind each of these works of art.


If you had this much money to blow away on a bookmark, would you spend it? What design would you get?

*Affiliate link


Guiltless Reading

#BookmarkMonday is a weekly meme that started in 2009. Link up your bookmark below! Don't forget to share your love for bookmarks, whether yours or you dream of making them yours:
  • Post about it on your blog/twitter/pinterest and link up below. 
  • Or share your pic with the #BookmarkMonday hashtag on Twitter so I can go check it out! 
  • If you'd like to post on the #BookmarkMonday Pinterest Board, shoot me an email at readerrabbit22 at gmail.com and I'll add you as a contributor.


Link Up HERE!

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© guiltless readingMaira Gall