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Carpe Librum

Reviews and bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.

If I am lost, you will find me in medieval England.

You can also find me - and my books - on my blog.

Historical Novel Society

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Review: Workhouse Girl by Dilly Court - DNF

The Workhouse Girl - Dilly Court

I read about 40% of this book before giving up. It has many reviews from people who clearly adored it, but it was not for me. It has an implausible storyline with unlikely circumstances and unbelievable characters.

Only the first chapter of this book takes place in a workhouse, where nothing was described to my satisfaction. The reader is simply informed that the master and mistress of the house are stereotypical bullies who hate the children in their charge. They are sure they should have held out for more money after they sell young Sarah to a well-off gentleman who feels sorry for her. From the rich benefactor to the friendly kidnapper and prim schoolteacher who remains in the story for unexplained reasons after she is no longer needed, the characters in this were bland and unbelievable.

(view spoiler)After only a few weeks with her new family, ridiculous events keep Sarah from them for the next five years. When she reappears on the scene, we are supposed to believe that the head of the family that chose not to reclaim her after they discovered who had kidnapped her has been waiting to see Sarah before he can die in peace. Um, OK.

(show spoiler)

Besides the fact that this is not at all about living in a workhouse, I just could not get into this story or bring myself to care about the characters. Considering Sarah seemed to come out of things peachy-keen so far no matter what happened, I will assume that holds true for the rest of the novel.

If you enjoy light, feel-good stories, this may appeal to you. I was hoping for something of higher quality to follow up Jennifer Worth's Shadow of the Workhouse. This is not it.<!--["br"]--><!--["br"]--><!--["br"]--><!--["br"]--><!--["br"]--><!--["br"]-->