Synopsis from Simon & Schuster:
The Handmaid’s Tale meets Alice in Wonderland in this gripping and imaginative historical novel about a shunned orphan girl in 16th-century England who is ensnared in a deadly royal plot and must turn her subjugation into her power.
The Sin Eater walks among us, unseen, unheard
Sins of our flesh become sins of Hers
Following Her to the grave, unseen, unheard
The Sin Eater Walks Among Us.
For the crime of stealing bread, fourteen-year-old May receives a life sentence: she must become a Sin Eater—a shunned woman, brutally marked, whose fate is to hear the final confessions of the dying, eat ritual foods symbolizing their sins as a funeral rite, and thereby shoulder their transgressions to grant their souls access to heaven.
Orphaned and friendless, apprenticed to an older Sin Eater who cannot speak to her, May must make her way in a dangerous and cruel world she barely understands. When a deer heart appears on the coffin of a royal governess who did not confess to the dreadful sin it represents, the older Sin Eater refuses to eat it. She is taken to prison, tortured, and killed. To avenge her death, May must find out who placed the deer heart on the coffin and why.
About: Sin Eater is a historical fiction fantasy written by Megan Campisi. It was recently published on 4/7/2020 by Atria Books, hardcover, 304 pages. The genres are historical fiction, mystery, and fantasy. This book is the author’s debut. According to the publisher’s website, “founded in 2002, Atria was from the start intended to be an environment where new ideas could flourish, the best writers of fiction and nonfiction could thrive and connect with an ever-widening readership, and the best practices of traditional publishing could be integrated with cutting-edge developments in the digital world. In short, a place where great books could come to light.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading Sin Eater on 4/4/2020 and finished it on 4/10/2020. This book is a fantastic read! What an interesting idea for a story. Sin Eater is awesome! I love following May’s thoughts. She has a cool matter-of-fact attitude. When she got caught stealing she thought to eat the bread she stole because why not go to jail full than hungry. I like her thoughts about her mom and the way the author worded the sentence about the worms. It flows well but clever in a way. I like the modified kids rhymes to fit the story. Would have been great if readers were told of May’s age, but I’m guessing she’s a teen.
This book is told in the first person point of view following May Owens as she talks about sin eater. Now, May is running fast away with the warm bread held tight until the baker’s son caught her. There are 20 girls in jail with May for various crimes. When the girls got sentenced a punishment, they left and May remained in jail along with a new batch of girls caught with various crimes. The story slowly revealed how May is an orphan without a family. At last her punishment came and it’s unexpected. Her duties in her punishment came to a puzzle when she knew something was a lie but she couldn’t voice out. The lie she knew leads to murder and mystery at the Queen’s castle. Each chapter heading with a type of food. There is a list of sins as it stands for a type of food at the beginning of the book.
Sin Eater is very well written and a fast paced read! At first I’m not used to the shock of words such as whores and bastard children. I have never read anything like this, which is a good thing because this story is an original idea. I loved it and couldn’t read fast enough. I loved the historical aspects of the book due to the fancy way the characters speak. Definitely fascinating how a person confess all of his/her sins before he/she dies. I like that the main character is clever despite having no education. I don’t normally look up vocabularies but this book has a great many words I haven’t heard of, like cunny, jakes, vagabond, scullion, etc. I like learning these new words. May’s living situation is interesting. I like the mystery, suspense, and problem solving. This story is highly addicting and I highly recommend everyone to read it!
Pro: fast paced, page turner, sins, mystery, witch-hunt
Warning: Animals cruelty
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author:
Megan Campisi is a playwright, novelist, and teacher. Her plays have been performed in China, France, and the United States. She attended Yale University and the L’École International de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq. The author of Sin Eater, she lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her family. (Photo and info obtained from Simon & Schuster’s website).