Sin Eater by Megan Campisi ~ Book Review

Book Description: 

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.

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About the Author: 

Megan Campisi is a playwright, novelist and teacher. Her plays have performed in China, France and the United States. She has been a forest ranger, sous chef in Paris and a physical theater specialist around the world. Originally from California, she attended Yale University and the L'École International de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her family.

Author's Goodreads


Finally getting around to writing my review for this novel. I am still not sure how I truly feel about it. I enjoyed this novel but didn't love it. When I read the blurb that said it has been said to be "The Handmaid’s Tale meets Alice in Wonderland" I couldn't wait to read it. I was expecting some magical world/supernatural mixed with sinful acts but I don't feel it met any magical aspects. It is a historical novel set in England with a Queen, the story is centered around a young sin eater named May. 

At the beginning of the novel we are introduced to May who has stolen a loaf of bread, her sentence? Become a sin eater. A sin eater is someone who eats the sins of another person with specific foods assigned for each sin they committed. This ritual is done while the person is on their death bed.

I thought the premise of the novel was really neat and not like anything I have read before. I felt for May and enjoyed her internal dialogue. As a sin eater she is not allowed to speak. Sometimes I found myself wanting the story to pick up and finish but sometimes I didn't want it to end. Definitely a book that left me with mixed feelings but I would read more from Megan Campisi.

~*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own. *~


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