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Sin Eater

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  175 ratings  ·  111 reviews
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
Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: April 7th 2020 by Atria Books
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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  175 ratings  ·  111 reviews

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Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell

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SIN EATER is another one of those books that suffers from poor comparisons. Alice in Wonderland meets the Handmaid's Tale?! The Name of the Rose meets Wolf Hall?! I am seriously side-eying all of the authors of those blurbs right now because comparisons like that 1) fail to adequately describe what the book is about, 2) do it an injustice by shaping the book as something it is not, and 3) are just such bad comparisons that I literally
"Sins of our flesh become sins of hers through the Eating, praise be."
After committing a crime, 14-year-old May is condemned to be a sin eater. She begins to follow the elder sin eater to learn her new job. While learning, a deer heart is placed at someone's Eating although the dead didn't confess to the sin that matches that food. May decides to discover the truth of the murder mystery, but she finds secrets, witchcraft, and lies along the way and her world is quickly and quietly turned
Nilufer Ozmekik
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Nope! It’s not fair to compare this book with the other novels and talking about the resemblances with Handmaid’s Tale, Wolf’s Creek or any other epic stories. Sin Eater is dark, unique, original, well-crafted, visionary, horrifying, twisty, surprising tale, a very well written, somehow quirky, absurd, complex fantasy!

For its uniqueness and eerie, creepy, dark, intense atmosphere and impeccable development, I’m giving my four solid stars!

This is story of a fourteen years old girl May
Amy Imogene Reads
Jan 27, 2020 marked it as to-read
Looking forward to this!

Thank you so much to Atria Books for an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs...

I don’t have words to describe Megan Campisi’s Sin Eater. Well, none that do it justice at any rate. Suffice it to say I had high hopes when I acquired this piece and the execution surpassed every one of my expectations.

Dark storytelling isn’t everyone’s cuppa, but it holds my attention just fine. I found the shadowed pageantry of May’s world utterly captivating and happily lost myself in the potent imagery, superstition,
Jessica Woodbury
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. A historical fantasy that's also a mystery novel with a great premise. Once you understand the concept of the sin eater (a real custom from long ago) it's not hard to see why someone would want to build a story around it. One confesses one's sins on your deathbed, each sin aligns with a particular food, and the sin eater by eating each food after your death takes your sins upon themselves. But instead of being seen as saintly figures, in Campisi's world, they are outcasts, unable to ...more
Susan's Reviews
Feb 11, 2020 rated it liked it
My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

As I read this dark tale, it brought to mind a "Twilight Zone-type" TV episode I had watched in my youth about sin eaters: i.e, people who "ate" the sins of the deceased so that the dearly departed could pass on to heaven.
The idea that you can buy yourself out of Hell or the Final Reckoning after death is certainly not a new one. These practices continue to exist today. Just about every
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 Stars

"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."

A strong round of applause for Megan Campisi for creating a unique and original book set in sixteenth century England.

Recently orphaned, fourteen-year-old May has been jailed and convicted for stealing bread. Her sentence - to be a Sin Eater. A "what?" you ask.... A sin eater, shunned, an S tattooed on her tongue, unseen until
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Digital arc from edelweiss.

I’m going to be throwing this book into the hands of anyone who passes my way when it releases. So if you’re heading in my direction, you’ve been forewarned.

I loved the fresh spin the story of the Sin Eater added to this book. It took a plot that could’ve been just another murder mystery, and made it that much more interesting. Her voice was fresh, language is accessible, and the story is exciting. Boom. Done. Read it.
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Megan Campisi created such an interesting tale, set in such an interesting place that I was immensely happy to lose myself in there for the hours it took me to read it. Apparently sin eaters, as recently as a hundred years ago, were actual people from various cultures throughout history. I find the practice disturbing yet oddly beautiful. I found the world the author created for this book, which I would say was similar to ye olde England, the perfect backdrop for these unfortunate souls. The ...more
The Artisan Geek
Dec 27, 2019 marked it as to-read
Did I just hear something about Alice in Wonderland????

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Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Where do I even start?!?!? This book is amazing! It centers around the practice of sin eating, where a person is essentially marked and ostracized from society and forced to listen to the dying confess their sins. Each sin is assigned a food. The Sin Eater then eats the foods assigned for the sin, essentially taking the dying person's sin on as her own. For one unfortunate young girl, she is to become a Sin Eater. What she discovers and how brave she is all work to make this a great novel. Quick ...more
Oct 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book so much!! I couldn’t put it down in the beginning and thought this was about to be a ground breaking book, but as it went out I felt like the middle went flat. I definitely think it’s a book everyone should read it really makes you think about yourself.
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a truly unusual, unique book! Very dark with medieval tones, seemingly loosely based on characters that are reminiscent of historical figures - jealous queens, dedicated subjects and a gaping division between the have's and the have-nots. Religion is key to the story, and the kingdom has seen a tumultuous upheaval in faith. But it's not exactly a war between against Catholics and Protestants; the citizens prescribe to either the Maker faith or the Ainglish faith. It depends on who is on the ...more
Feb 01, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
*I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review*

Sin Eater is a densely rich tale of society and its constrictions, particularly for a young woman.
Sin Eater plays out as a re-imagining of the time and court of Queen Elizabeth I. The Virgin Queen is known as Bethany. Her dead sister Queen Mary is Maris. Even for someone not well-acquainted with the intricacies of this time period, Campisi deftly weaves in recognizable components that add to the richness of the
Sandy Korom
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Unique, satisfying, fascinating novel
Annabelle Ulaka
Jan 16, 2020 marked it as to-read
I think synopsis should be rated too. I don't know how anyone would read this synopsis and not want to read this book.
Sep 21, 2019 rated it liked it
"Sin Eater" takes a very old concept and brings it back to light. From approximately the 16th to the early 20th century, individuals called Sin Eaters would visit the beds of the dying to hear a recitation of their sins. After the person had passed, the Sin Eater would eat a meal of foods corresponding to their recited sins upon their coffin thus cleansing a person of their sins and ensuring their passage to heaven. Sin Eaters were highly ostracized in communities both for the morbid nature of ...more
Gianna Lorandi
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
2.5 Well, I tried.
Let me tell you what I liked first....I was fascinated by the sin eater. I have never heard about it before, no idea it ever existed and, also thought the whole concept of book was very interesting.

Having said that I really dislike the way it was delivered. The writing style annoyed the life out of me and it's down to 3 things: first person narration, short sentences and a lot of telling but not showing.
It's hard to pull off a first person narrator because it can be very
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

3.5 stars

I was immediately drawn to Megan Campisi's Sin Eater when I saw the quote "The Handmaid's Tale meets Alice in Wonderland" because I love both of those novels.

With that being said, I wanted to like this book as well. It started off great, I couldn’t put it down, and I thought 'damn this is going to be a ground breaking book!' Sadly, as I continued reading this I felt this feeling slowly fade. I struggled to get through the
Megan C.
Dec 17, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 - A solid, enjoyable story about a fascinating and little-discussed topic. Sin Eater pairs the incredibly interesting subject of the Sin Eater, a person who hears deathbed confessions and eats food symbolic of the penitent's sins in order to absolve them before their death, with a royal murder mystery. I was engaged in the story from beginning to end, although I wasn't a fan of the first person POV (I'll fully admit that it's an unreasonable quirk of mine). That, along with some dialogue ...more
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an advance copy of Sin Eater as a Giveaway through Goodreads. Before reading this novel, I was unfamiliar with the historical existence of the "sin-eater."

Megan Campisi's characters, story line and even peculiar language are interesting and plausible. The main character, a teenager named May, was witness to and, indeed, the subject of, the shockingly cruel treatment of the poor and the outcast in a callous society inherited from Henry VIII. The old "Eucharistian" faith had been
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
The description given of “the handmaids tale meets Alice in Wonderland” makes no sense as the book has little comparison to either. An alternative history of England where the names and religions have been but slightly changed. At heart it’s the story of a young woman from unfortunate circumstances learning how to be true to herself.
O Prism
Sep 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This was an interesting read but not quite my cup of tea. I found the story; while believable, utterly cheerless and depressing. I lost interest less than halfway through the book but read it to the end to see what happened to May. I didn’t find any of the characters redeemable or even likable. Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and Ms. Campisi for thé ARC. Opinions are my own.
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sin Eaters have actually existed in history. The dying would confess their sins and, upon their death, the designated sin eater would consume a ritual meal to take on these sins, allowing a sin-free passage to the hereafter for the deceased. I suppose that for Christians Jesus Christ is their Sin Eater, but the sin eaters referred to in this book by Campisi appear to be secular, not affiliated to any religion.

Campisi has taken literary license with the concept of sin eaters and has also placed
Pan Macmillan Australia
Where do I start? This is a mixture of historical fiction, dystopia, and a great mystery at the heart of it. The language is poetic, full of imagery, and extremely visual. I couldn't put the damn thing down...

May is a 14-year-old girl in a 're-imagined' medieval England, called Angland. Her adored father has recently died leaving her alone. She steals bread to eat and is caught and ends up on trial for stealing. Unlike the other young women in her cell, she is not sentenced to hang, or burn,
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It's taken me a long time to get to this review because the story is just SO MUCH. I lack the words to really explain what I mean, in design terms it would probably be close to maximalism, the exact opposite of minimalism. Yet, even that terminology doesn't quiet match the sheer weight, and density of the prose found in Megan Campisi's Sin Eater. The story makes me want to wax poetic, to tell everyone I know that they need to experience this story but it gets so overwhelming I just end up ...more
Feb 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Thanks so much to the good folks at Good Reads and Atria for sending me a copy to read and review.

Sin Eater takes place in 16th c. England in a kind of alternative Tudor history with a Virgin Queen Bethany, only surviving child of King Harald. May is a young woman who becomes a Sin Eater after being arrested for theft and becomes drawn into the intrigues at court.

Sin Eater is somewhere between a fantasy, a historical novel and a thriller with characters based on real-life figures but set in an
Delany Holcomb
Dec 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Megan Campisi's "The Sin Eater" is a tale rife with Canterburian characters that illuminate the stage of medieval Angland. The story of May is a gorgeously tragic tale, as she, at the age of 14, is sentenced to a life as a Sin Eater for stealing a loaf of bread. With her newly found title she is made into a pariah, meant only to eat the foods that represent a person's confessed sins at the time of their death so that she herself can carry their sins to her own grave. Unable to speak and cast out ...more
Em Stevens
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Wish I had done more of what I wanted and less of what's right. Might have more delicious bits to recite."

Reading Sin Eater is like overeating at a gourmet restaurant; you're uncomfortable afterwards, but have no regrets about the meal. Megan Campisi has written a historical fiction novel that edges into mystery and feminist territories. The main character, May, is flawed in ways that I could identify with. As she settles into a life forced onto her, she begins to pick apart all the layers of
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NetGalley Readers: Sin Eater by Megan Campisi 21 37 Feb 05, 2020 04:41AM  

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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.
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“Don’t I know by now that folk see their sins in the way they choose? There’s always a reason as to why selfishness is not really selfish and crimes are honest and waiting safely by while somefolk else is killed is really the more courageous choice.” 0 likes
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