Waiting on Wednesday: The Sin Eater
The Sin Eater
Written by Megan Campisi
Published by Pan Macmillan
Publication date: 23rd July 2020
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
“A keenly researched feminist arc of unexpected abundance, reckoning, intellect, and ferocious survival” (Maria Dahvana Headley, author of The Mere Wife)
Sin Eater is “a dark, rich story replete with humor, unforgettable characters, and arcane mysteries. It casts a spell on your heart and mind until the final page” (Jennie Melamed, author of Gather the Daughters).
Why I can’t wait to read this:
- The summary has me intrigued in so many ways! The tradition of sin eaters is a fascinating one (I first came across it in Melinda Salisbury’s The Sin-Eater’s Daughter) so I’m excited to see a book based around it.
- Described as ‘The Handmaid’s Tale meets Alice in Wonderland” : While I am usually a bit cautious of these descriptions in book marketing as I have seen some comparisons that have no resemblance to the actual book, this description has me interested.
- Women and their role in history has often been overlooked, buried and disregarded, so I can’t wait to get to know May and see how she makes her way in the world.
- The fact that the older sin-eater cannot talk to her adds a whole other layer to the mystery, as it touches on the systematic silencing of women and dissident voices.
- The first chapter is available online and I am dying to read the rest!
Intrigued? Read the first chapter of the Sin Eater on the National Book Tokens website, and decide if you’re adding this to your list of anticipated books or not!
What do you think?
Does this sound like the kind of book you would enjoy?
Will you be reading this or do you have any other anticipated releases you would recommend to me?
Let me know in the comments!
See some other Waiting on Wednesday posts here: The Forest of Ghosts and Bones, The Foundling, Special Edition, Orphans of the Tide, Thorn, Seasons of the Storm, The Circus Rose, The Court of Miracles, Girl, Serpent, Thorn, House of Dragons or The Notorious Virtues?
Thanks for reading!