Sarah, the workhouse girl of the title, is followed from age 6 to about age 20 in this young adult novel. Poor Sarah rockets from one dismal situation after another, extricating herself (or being extricated) only to fall into another awful mess. Along the way we meet several villains and a few heroes and heroines. The characters are stock characters with one “noble rascal” to relieve the standardization.
This is a quick read that moves from one unlikely situation to another, but does eventually reach a not quite foregone conclusion. The writing is okay, the dialogue pedestrian, but the tempo is non-stop. Tweens will love it. Teens will enjoy the action and like the very mild romance. Parents have nothing to fear beyond a few somewhat “bad” words, a few kisses along with some mild innuendo and lots of outright cruelty.
Adults will likely find the believable factor too implausible to read past the middle of the book and may just skip to the conclusion. Then they will discover they have missed several plot points.
3 of 5 stars