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The Last Sin Eater

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  27,391 ratings  ·  1,049 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 abou…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)
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  27,391 ratings  ·  1,049 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
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
Dec 24, 2010 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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!
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
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
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!
Mandy J. Hoffman

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
Oddly enough, this is my first Francine Rivers book that I've read all the way through. I started reading one of her earlier works when I was younger and didn't like some of the content. While this book still has a couple of tough things in it, I felt like they added to the story instead of distracted from it.
This story was riveting. While it almost feels when you are about at the half-way point that it should be over soon, each page kept drawing me in.
I love how, even at the end, there are st
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
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
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
Kathryn in FL
Feb 29, 2020 rated it liked it
This is an allegorical tale meant to interpret the meaning of Christ's purpose. It was an interesting and original tale, yet, I didn't identify with the characters as much as I had wished. I think it was a valuable story and I would never tell anyone not to read it. It just didn't have that special something in it. I feel I am not doing the story justice. Francine Rivers is such an excellent story-teller, this wasn't her best work. ...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.
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
Aug 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very unique.
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
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 eater and t ...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
Luisa Knight
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is fantastic and beautifully captures the gospel!

**Like my reviews? Then you should follow me! Because I have hundreds more just like this one. With each review, I provide a Cleanliness Report, mentioning any objectionable content I come across so that parents and/or conscientious readers (like me) can determine beforehand whether they want to read a book or not. Content surprises are super annoying, especially when you’re 100+ pages in, so here’s my attempt to help you avoid that!

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,
Heather Gilbert
Mar 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Having grown up in the Appalachia that Rivers set this novel in, I can say that she nailed the way people talk and do things. I haven't watched the movie yet, but the book was quite mesmerizing for me. ...more
Sep 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Unique, dark, and odd, but written by a master writer and strong Christian. Filled with Bible truths and symbolism. Good book!
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
Megan Miller
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
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
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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)!!!
Tracy Wainwright
Another amazing story

Francine Rivers has done it again. A fascinating tale woven with characters who draw you right into their story. Set in a time and place-1850’s rural east coast mountains-which isn‘t often written about, this book shows how traditions and superstitions can take hold of people and be barriers to God’s truth. But also how masterfully and miraculously the Lord can work with one willing heart. A skillfully written story from beginning to end.
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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

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