Dear Sin Eater,
It was nice to meet you and reflect on my own autonomy, and thinking about taking control and responsibility of my actions. I hope you do well and find homes of people who enjoy you and share you!
P.S. Book Details
Author: Megan Campisi
Book Length: 304 pages
Book Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: April 2020
Synopsis: 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.
One sentence synopsis: Grappling with the identity one is thrust into and taking ownership of one’s life.
While this book was not my cup of tea, the concept of this book was well executed. I was intrigued by this book because of the idea of Sin Eater, alongside the mystery of a sin eaten which should not have been eaten. I was expecting more drama, but it took me a while to be invested in the drama Campisi was creating. I was left dissatisfied and not connected to the characters. In addition to the delayed character investment, I was confused with the food list for sins. Each food is connected to a sin, and at the front is an explanation of the foods. However, not all the foods were listed. This was part of the mystery, yet some of the smaller foods were not listed. It made me wonder, “Why Bother?” to put them in, in the first place.
After I was invested in the main character who is “turned into” a Sin Eater, I enjoyed watching her grow and evolve. She was forced into a life she never wanted and Campisi explores emotions of entrapment, betrayal, responsibility, and maturing. The result was a sense of closure when I turned the last page in the book. Clearly the story continues, but not in a way which invites more books in a series.
I would say this book was a good, “one and done” book. It is unlikely I will pick it up again, and it does not make it high on my recommendations list. It was equated as a mix between, “Handmaid’s Tale”, and, “Alice in Wonderland”, but I don’t think the comparison is strongly there. I highly recommend both those books, however, there are books I would recommend before reading this one.