When Cara Flowers’ beloved grandmother dies she leaves her, not only an enormous fortune, but also a huge responsibility – to find their estranged family.
Cara’s quest leads her to the doors of the imposing Bilston workhouse where families are torn apart with no hope of a better life.
Shocked by the appalling conditions, Cara vows to find a way to close the workhouse and rescue its residents. Fraught by countless hurdles her mission becomes personal when she is left asking why was she raised by her grandmother, and what has her missing mother got to do with the looming workhouse?
I am interested in the subject matter of this book, and have recently been reading a bit about the working classes of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. And so I requested The Workhouse Children for review.
While the research was very well done, the story was tell instead of show, making it hard to care about the characters.
If you are reading this book to get a peek into life a century and a bit ago, there is plenty of information here. There’re lots of little details that were researched well. I also appreciated the use of a real place as the setting, and enjoyed doing some research of my own as I read.
I only wish I cared about the characters.
Perhaps some of my issues with the story come from the fact different genres focus on different things. Romance is often a more emotional genre than women’s or historical fiction (this book is historical women’s fiction), and the reader experiences feelings and reactions alongside the characters. I found here that I was watching people experience things from afar.
I know I tend to go overboard with commas when I type, but the lack of commas in this book sometimes made it a struggle to comprehend. For example:
I had to go with John on the cart until you were born Charlie.
This was an editing issue that should have been dealt with in the publication process.
So, if you’re looking for a book that’s heavy on the history, you might enjoy this. However, if you’re looking to connect with the characters, you might struggle a bit.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.