The Sin Eater
An old adage says there are really only two stories: a man goes on a voyage, and a stranger arrives in town. This is the third: a woman breaks the rules . . .
Can you uncover the truth when you’re forbidden from speaking it?
A Sin Eater’s duty is a necessary evil: she hears the confessions of the dying, eats their sins as a funeral rite. Stained by these sins, she is shunned and silenced, doomed to live in exile at the edge of town.
Recently orphaned May Owens is just fourteen, only concerned with where her next meal is coming from. When she’s arrested for stealing a loaf of bread, however, and subsequently sentenced to become a Sin Eater, finding food is suddenly the last of her worries.
It’s a devastating sentence, but May’s new invisibility opens new doors. And when first one then two of the Queen’s courtiers suddenly grow ill, May hears their deathbed confessions – and begins to investigate a terrible rumour that is only whispered of amid palace corridors.
Set in a thinly disguised sixteenth-century England, Megan Campisi’s The Sin Eater is a wonderfully rich story of treason and treachery; of women, of power, and the strange freedom that comes from being an outcast – because, as May learns, being a nobody sometimes counts for everything . . .
Magnificent . . . Hillary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies brought new vividness and insight to the court of Henry VIII; in The Sin Eater, Megan Campisi brings as much or more energy to the court of Elizabeth I . . . The only disappointment it offers is the absence of a massive body of work waiting for the reader to devour when this first book ends * New York Journal of Books * [A] rousing, impressive debut . . . Spellbinding -- Publisher's Weekly Richly imaginative and strikingly contemporary [and] very much reminiscent of The Handmaid's Tale * Kirkus * Captivating . . . An original melding of mystery and alternate history * Booklist * Rich with imaginative and historical details, The Sin Eater is ultimately a timeless story of one woman regaining her power. I loved it from beginning to end -- Christina Dalcher, author of Vox A dark and thrilling page-turner that turns a dystopian eye on the past in an unnervingly contemporary way. All hail Megan Campisi -- Emma Donoghue, author of Room and The Wonder
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