“This dystopian-mystery-historical fiction is a masterclass in genre-blended storytelling. From a tight plot to a well-developed protagonist, this book is made for easy reading.
May, a young orphan is sentenced to be a Sin Eater, which means she is the person tasked with listening to the dying’s list of sins and then eating their corresponding foods over their coffins. She will be shunned from that moment through death; she becomes voiceless, her touch and sight avoided.
Campisi is strongest when hurtling the plot forward, even reimagining nursery rhymes, poems, and tales to fit its alternative history. She employs a Canterbury Tales-like breadth of characters with descriptors as names, none of them kind. While I wish the book were nearly twice as long to more fully flesh it out, May and the mystery are more than enough to carry this quick read and make it memorable.”