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Frontline Midwife: My Story of Survival and Keeping Others Safe

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This book is an amazing read, about Anna, the perhaps more idealistic person she was at the very beginning of her career as an aid worker, how Anna dealt with things in her private life too. I loved her characterisation of James and other co-workers and the descriptions of her relationships with the people she was trying to help keep safe were truly heart-rending. Working in ravaged, war torn areas of the World like South Sudan, Haiti, and Bangladesh, Anna is one very brave and special human.

In this case, I suppose it was somewhat easier in that she was unable to seek consent from her historic patients as she had no way of contacting them. Anna I am so sorry about your darling daughter Fatima but my heart screamed with delight at Aisha’s birth with the lovely and divine Nicky in attendance (what a gorgeous human being she is). Writing has become a form of therapy for Anna who, after retiring from the frontline work, sought help to deal with her PTSD and emotional trauma which she said has given her freedom and a real sense of power.I recently started reading this book and couldn’t put it down (well apart from some shifts and uni work annoyingly getting in the way). All because Anna is nursing in war-torn and poor countries where resources are minimal and what we might see as simple complications in the UK can be fatal in those conditions. Gives a first hand account of the challenges, courage and personal toll of providing healthcare in conflict zones, whilst documenting the personal stories of those living there. In Frontline Midwife, Kent shares her extraordinary experiences as a nurse, midwife and mother, illuminating the lives of women that are irreparably affected by compromised access to healthcare. Then I read the blurb, realised it was something totally different but ended up wanting to read even more.

I think it was so brave of Anna to tell her personal stories about her journey in motherhood too, in such an honest way.Before I had read this memoir I thought that the people that worked for MSF were somehow extraordinary people and reading this novel absolutely confirmed this. Although it's a stark read, Frontline Midwife is totally absorbing because Kent holds nothing back, including about her own tragic experiences of miscarriage and loss. The book may well help some readers to recognise unhealthy thought processes and potential signs of needing more support from friends, colleagues and employers. Kent exhibits a powerful sense of insight and self-reflection throughout the book, which more than once spills over into undue self-criticism. it’s a quick way of putting things in to perspective and that’s no bad thing in this material age of waste and poverty going hand in hand rubbing up against each other shoulder to shoulder only we don’t talk about it because, it’s not nice unless it’s remote, distant and something to make us feel grateful for what we have instead of complaining about what we don’t have which, in the bigger scheme of things isn’t really so much is it?

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