The Last Sin Eater, by Francine Rivers

Cadi Forbes, 10 years old, has lived with the sin that has weighed her down and destroyed everything she holds dear. To rid herself of sin, she seeks out the Sin Eater, the man who takes away the sins of the people after they die. To Cadi, this is all that matters, the only chance to be free from the guilt that seperates her from her mother.

But the Sin Eater can never be looked upon, and what Cadi does not know is that the Sin Eater is searching for answers too. His own sins, and the sins of all the people, weigh upon him. For when he dies, it is he who will burn in hell to save the rest of them. The ultimate question: can the Sin Eater himself find salvation?

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While the main character is 10 years old, THIS IS NOT A CHILDREN’S BOOK!

Ok, while there isn’t anything particularly unclean about this book, the overpowering weight of sin is a recurring theme that is a bit heavy, and the whole idea of a Sin Eater who is rumored to be a monster is a little creepy.

The premise of the book is amazing. The plot was well thought-out, and the characters were very deep and believable. It is interesting how Rivers chose to make sure each person had a sin strong enough to feel the guilt, even the minor ones.

The only problem I had with this book was that, about 2/3 of the way through it started to get a little preachy. While Rivers was trying really hard to just get across what Cadi was hearing, it tended to last for quite a while when Cadi’s reaction was compelling enough, not neccesarily what she was being told. And going with this theme, Cadi and her friend, after hearing the news that they were saved, started talking differently. After this part, when Cadi starts talking to anyone about it she sounds remarkably like an old pastor.

Oh, I didn’t mention it above, but this is historical fiction. All the characters have Scottish emmigrant roots, and live in an isolated clan somewhere in the Appalachian Mountains in the 1850’s.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Audience: Ages 14 and up.

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