Chosen by Haley Flores
Trying to pick a favourite book is a bit like asking a parent who their favourite child is. A bit of an unanswerable question, luckily when the parameters were set for my favourite book in 2020, this became a less daunting task.
I could already picture a few I had in mind, but this one stood out above the rest. I could recall reading it bundled up in covers, late into the night.
There was one particular moment when reading the pages of this novel that I knew it would be a favourite, and it was when I came across these words “It’s always women who eat sins, since it was Eve who first ate a sin: the Forbidden Fruit.”
This is a sort of dark whimsical feel that I love, I can see why it was compared with Alice in Wonderland but it is this parallel of Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Mary and Christianity. There’s supposed witchcraft, there’s faith, and there’s the Sin Eater.
The job of the sin eater is to take on the sins physically through food and in the eyes of the Maker so that those dying and dead can return to the Maker’s side in a funeral rite while the sin eater, always a she, is at the right hand of Eve. Sometimes though if the sin eater does all that is asked of her, she’s able to rise up to the Maker as well. But, when the newest sin eater is left without her mentor and forced to unravel a mystery at the heart of the Queen’s reign, being a sin eater is far more dangerous than it has ever been.
This is an introspective look at what it means to sin, and what it means for those we sometimes heft our vices upon. It’s also a look at the power of a voice and the equal power of silence… Neither one is particularly good or evil, the power is all in the person who wields the voice, or silence, and how they use it, in this case we witness what May Owens does with her new role as a sin eater.
The story gives a long hard look at a job that is necessary and goes unspoken of, like so many jobs today, and the story of women and those on the outskirts of society. How many people are taken for granted and not seen, or heard?
Winter is going to settle in soon and while there’s time for staying warm and indoors, this is the perfect read to curl up with and get lost in a time that is so similar to our past and even our current times but with a mystery and whimsy that is always so sadly lacking in reality
I adored Campisis’s writing style and her story is one that I would love to get lost in several more times, The Sin Eater was a superb read for me.
Date of Publication: 23/07/2020
ISBN 13: 9781529019063