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The Last Sin Eater

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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  24,924 ratings  ·  933 reviews
1999 Gold Medallion Award winner! A repackage of Francine Rivers's beloved novel, now with stunning movie stills from the motion picture releasing in January 2007 and bonus discussion questions. All that matters for Cadi Forbes is finding the one man who can set her free from the sin that plagues her, the sin that has stolen her mother's love from her and made her wish she ...more
Paperback, 332 pages
Published January 17th 2007 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published 1998)
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KC I think so... It's an excellent story about relationships, turmoil, and rural life in the mountains. Although an important thread in the story is…moreI think so... It's an excellent story about relationships, turmoil, and rural life in the mountains. Although an important thread in the story is about religious belief, I believe the plot and characters can stand on their own. (less)
Sandra I just finished reading this about two weeks ago. Even though Cadi was around 10 years old in the story, I think it is a little intense for a 10 year…moreI just finished reading this about two weeks ago. Even though Cadi was around 10 years old in the story, I think it is a little intense for a 10 year old. I personally wouldn't have read it to my daughter when she was ten. (less)

Community Reviews

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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  24,924 ratings  ·  933 reviews


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Natalie Vellacott
This is a great book although it dragged a little towards the end.

It is told in the first person by a child "Cadi Forbes." She is growing up in a clan in the remote mountains. Cadi believes she is responsible for a terrible accident. She feels the terrible weight of her "sin" and begins seeking ways to rid herself of the burden. She becomes desperate over time believing she will be punished forever for her sin.

Then, Cadi overhears talk of the banished "sin eater" who comes to remove the sin of
...more
Kacie
May 20, 2009 rated it did not like it
My bookish blogging friends challenged my disdain for Francine Rivers (which I picked up from my fav. college lit professor, who called Rivers Christian crap-o-rama). Maybe I was being too harsh. Maybe there was a depth to Rivers that is often missing in popular Christian fiction.

Well - if Francine Rivers has a greater depth than most, it wasn't evident in "The Last Sin Eater". I didn't like it. I mean, I actually really liked the concept, but about half-way through the novel the concept starte
...more
Colleen
Dec 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sherri
Dec 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This is one of my all time favorites! A great story set in the isolation of the Appalachian Mountains. I loved the generational relationships between the older women in the community and the children. Also, just the unpredictablity of the storyline. A great read!
Barbara
This book can actually be read superficially and simply viewed as good historical fiction, but it also has a much deeper level that will truly amaze you if you give it enough thought. The old custom of a sin-eater is a fascinating one, and the parallels to Jesus Christ are obvious, especially as clearly depicted here by Francine Rivers. What a unique and unusual way to present the meaning of the Gospel. Cadi and Fagan are especially endearing characters. Set in the 1800's, the Appalachian mounta ...more
Cori Cook
Aug 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Kinda weird, but I really liked the message about grace. Again, good redemption theme runs throughout. Lilybet cracked me up!
Anne
Mar 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Francine Rivers is absolutely my favorite Christian fiction author because she delves deeper than the usual romantic fare.

Her most well-known book is Redeeming Love, which is also great, but my favorite book written by her is "The Last Sin Eater". The story is told through the eyes of a young girl who is struggling with issues far too heavy for her age: grief, neglect, guilt, eternal destiny, sin and loneliness. Thanks to the help of her invisible friend (an angel?) and an itinerant preacher, s
...more
John
Aug 29, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-on-tape
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica Lavette
Aug 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Ehhhhh....this book was...ok. It is a good read. Don't get me wrong Francine Rivers writes some pretty awesome books, but this one was kind of bland compared to all of her other books.

If you ever feel like an outcast from time to time, then this book will encourage you to dare to be different.

The Last Sin Eater is an allegory of Jesus Chirst set in the Appalacian Mountains in the 1830's. It follows the story of a 10 year old girl, Cadi Forbes, her family and her clan. Yes, I said clan. Everyone
...more
Lucy Shea
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
My initial thoughts after finishing this book:
I like the concept of this story, but I didn't like the execution. There was a lot of flowery writing that didn't fit the concept of this story, in my opinion. The concept is dark and pretty disturbing if you think about it - someone ritually eating the sins of an entire village of people so they can be saved. The people of the village were depressed and carrying the weight of their past transgressions, but the way this was written made them seem lik
...more
Joanne Sher
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Powerful, compelling, and beautifully written. Only my second Francine Rivers book, and I love it. Such a powerful tale of redemption. Characters were so real-to-life. I was absolutely taken to these mountains. A masterpiece.
Katherine
I've read this book several times and watched the movie, and it's a firm favourite.

Funny story: I actually dreamt this whole book, as a movie, and was convinced for months that I'd actually seen it (though I had NO IDEA where I'd watchied it). My movie version was totally awesome, better than the actual movie of it... yeah, when I watched the movie I realised that I'd dreamt it. The movie is still pretty good though, one of the better Christian movies I've seen.

I love this book for a reason that
...more
Mandy J. Hoffman
MY REVIEW:

My enjoyment of Francine Rivers writing began just over a year ago and I have since read a number of her books. This one being the most recent. Francine not only knows how to craft a riveting story, but one full of spiritual depth and challenge, too.

The Last Sin Eater sounds like a strange book but it only takes a few moments to get drawn into the old tale set in the heart of the mountains among a handful of families who settled there only 2 generations ago. It's a story of fear, fasci
...more
Emily
Jun 01, 2012 rated it liked it
This is another historical fiction book that had a super interesting premise; a Sin Eater was a person who was paid to take upon himself the sins of the deceased & their consequences in the afterlife. The author's note says that the practice was common in the early 19th century in England, Scottish lowlands and near the Welsh border. The custom was brought over by some immigrants to the Americas & practiced in remote areas of Appalachia. This story focuses on one such (fictional) sin eat ...more
Shirley Conley
Sep 28, 2015 rated it did not like it
Hard to read and I did not like this book. The story is told by Cadi Forbes from childhood through becoming a grandma herself. Cadi is naturally curious as a child and that curiosity is encouraged by her grandma. As a child she believes that she is responsible for her sister Elen’s death. After her grandma died, she is obsessed with finding the Sin Eater to get rid of her guilt. She finds him and others along the way that helps her. The sin eater makes her promise to go see the “man of God” who ...more
Jessica
Sep 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone and Everyone!
Shelves: christianfiction
"A little girl's quest for redemption uncovers a dark secret...and the truth shall set her free."

What can I say, except that I was surprised beyond belief? I'd gotten more than I'd hoped for from this book!!
It's the beautiful, Sweetly sorrowful story of a young girl, Cadi Forbes, who has, in her eyes, committed an almost unforgivable sin. She struggles to find cleansing for her broken heart, she searches, desperately trying to find the one who can take her sins away, the sins that are tearing at
...more
Sherry
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was outstanding. It had everything in it...folklore from Scotland and Wales, murder, guilt, sadness, joy, unrequited love, marriage for the sake of producing children, but no reciprocal love, innocent children, cruel and cold parents, cowards, secrets, God and of course the last sin eater. This was a powerful story of a little girl (10)who bore guilt and felt her mama didn't love her and a boy (can't remember his age exactly, but think he was about 12-14) whose father thought he was Go ...more
Sandi
Jul 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Despite the unusual title I picked up this book at the library because I have liked everything else I had read by Francine Rivers. The story takes place in the Smoky Mountains in the 1850's. The residents of this small hamlet believe that opon death one's sins are removed by offering food and drink the the sin eater. The sin eater taker the sins open himself and the person can be clean before God. Young Cadi Forbes questions this and sets out to meet the Sin Eater. Along the way she meets a ...more
Karen Phillips
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Francine Rivers remains a master storyteller. She casts a spell with her Appalachian setting and charming backwoods characters in The Last Sin-Eater. I felt the book was a bit too pedantic, and having the two children know so much scripture after spending only a few days with the preacher struck me as unrealistic. However, the plot, characters, and setting held my attention to the end, and the writing inspired my faith, with Cadi and Fagan proved worthy as heroine and hero,
Luisa Knight
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic and beautifully captures the gospel!
R.
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Been almost a month since I’ve read it so my review may be lacking.

Things I liked:
The MC (I forget her name. Told you it’s been a month, and I’m not super with book names). My heart reached out to her right away.
The setting. There were mountains and they felt very authentic.
Story idea. A complex, mature plot centering around an intriguing seed.

Stuff I didn’t like.
This book was dark, people! Especially in the first half when the MC is struggling with a very hefty dose of guilt (particularly for b
...more
Megan Lane
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, first of all, I loved this. This story grabs you and doesn't let go. When I wasn't reading, I was thinking about it. Thinking about the characters and their struggles and how they mirrored or contrasted mine. Thinking about the scenery described in perfect detail, not too much, not too little.
But, moving on. I really enjoyed how each person had their own story. Somehow she did a really good job of rounding out so many people while still focusing on the main characters. She allowed each per
...more
Cortney Davis
Francine Rivers is one of my favorite Authors so I feel bad only giving this book three stars! It was a good book, and I'd recommend it because it's messaging on the ever importance of evangelism is so strong AND the story line is very good, it just sort of gets long in parts, and for me, I wasn't immediately hooked on the book because it wasn't as engaging as other books I've read by her.
This was still a very good book about a small town that lived way out in the mountains and believed in one
...more
Josephine
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-favs
This book is endlessly beautiful. Of course the imagery and characters and plot were excellent, but what I mean is the message and what it now means to me. I seriously think that this book has changed the way I think. While reading about the people being saved, I felt like I was hearing the gospel for the first time again. This is the new book that I will recommend to absolutely everyone (and by recommend I mean talk about it until they read it, lol)!!!
Courtney Robeson
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll be honest, the beginning of this book was quite slow for me, and that's why it took so long for me to read it. But yesterday, I got past the halfway mark and couldn't stop reading! It was so good! I loved how everything ended. Great book
Robert Case
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A twisting tale of good and evil, set in the Appalachians of the 19th century. Well-written and entertaining.
Kim
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a great story......started slow but it picked up and what a great story! Would recommend!
Edwina Callan
Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2019
I saw the movie, years ago, and loved it.
The book was even better.
Such a beautiful story, even though it had me in tears more than once.
Sheri Spears
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It took me a little while to be able to read the way they were talking. It was interesting and yet so simple. My daughter wants to read it too. I read it for our church women’s group.
Debby
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-books
If you like to I aIFrancine Rivers is such a gifted storytelleller! If you're a fan of Appalachian fiction, The Last Sin Eater is a MUST read.
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9,238 followers
New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers continues to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her numerous bestsellers include Redeeming Love, A Voice in the Wind, and Bridge to Haven, and her work has been translated into more than thirty different languages. She is a member of Romance Writers of America's coveted Hall of Fame as well as a recipient of the Lifetime ...more
“It was no accident, no coincidence, that the seasons came round and round year after year. It was the Lord speaking to us all and showing us over and over again the birth, life, death, and resurrection of his only begotten Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, our Lord. It was like a best-loved story being told day after day with each sunrise and sunset, year after year with the seasons, down through the ages since time began.” 56 likes
“I was learning to recognize when God was speaking through someone. He repeats himself. He says it over and over because we are so stubborn, stupid and unwilling. And even scared. Even when he tells us not to be afraid, we set our minds about it, worrying and fretting about every little thing. I was shaken by what God expected us to do.” 3 likes
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