Search This Blog

2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

2024 Challenge Sign-Up Post

January Reviews Link-Up

February Reviews Link-Up

March Reviews Link-Up

April Reviews Link-Up

May Reviews Link-Up

June Reviews Link-Up

July Reviews Link-Up

August Reviews Link-Up

September Reviews Link-Up

October Reviews Link-Up

November Reviews Link-Up

December Reviews Link-Up

My Progress:

11 / 30 books. 37% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (3)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii
- Idaho (2)
- Illinois (1)
- Indiana
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (1)
- Maryland
- Massachusetts (2)
- Michigan
- Minnesota
- Mississippi
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska
- Nevada
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York (2)
- North Carolina (3)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (1)
- Oklahoma (1)
- Oregon (2)
- Pennsylvania
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Tennessee (1)
- Texas (2)
- Utah
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia (1)
- Washington (2)
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin
- Wyoming
- Washington, D.C.* (1)

- Australia (1)
- Canada (1)
- England (8)
- France (1)
- Indonesia (1)
- Ireland (2)
- Italy (1)
- Scotland (2)
- The Netherlands (1)

My Progress:

23 / 51 states. 45% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

16 / 50 books. 32% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

21 / 50 books. 42% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

43 / 50 books. 86% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

38 / 52 books. 73% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

25 / 40 books. 63% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

15 / 40 books. 38% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

9 / 25 books. 36% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

6 / 26.2 miles (second lap). 23% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

21 / 100 books. 21% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

58 / 104 books. 56% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

42 / 52 books. 81% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

59 / 165 books. 36% done!
Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Heavy-Handed Sermonizing Makes Christian Novel A Whole Lot Less Appealing

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Like all the folks who live in her isolated mountain community, 10-year-old Cadi Forbes is a descendant of a hearty band of pilgrims who came to Appalachia from the wilds of Scotland and Wales.  Along with their heavy brogues, these pioneers brought with them legends, myths and Old World customs.  Some of which still endure.  The Sin Eater, for instance.  Cadi knows all about the mysterious figure who's summoned down from the hills when someone dies.  His duty—which he will perform as long as he lives—is to take upon himself the sins of the dead so that they can ascend to heaven unburdened.  No one dares look the Sin Eater in the face, nor do they seek him out.  The man is sentenced, because of his own misdeeds, to a life of banishment and solitude, welcomed among the villagers only when he is needed.  And only with extreme caution.

Cadi needs absolution from the sin that is eating her up inside, the evil that makes even her mother turn away in shame.  So pained by her affliction is Cadi that she's willing to do the unthinkable.  She knows hunting down the Sin Eater will bring punishment from her parents as well as a curse on her family.  But she can't stop herself.  Cadi can't wait until she's dead to get forgiveness—she needs it now.  

As Cadi defies the orders of her family and village leaders in dogged pursuit of her goal, she discovers some shocking truths—not just about the Sin Eater, but also about her community and the secrets it keeps in the name of tradition.  Can Cadi convince the others of what she now knows?  Will she ever get absolution for her sins?  Her journey of self-discovery will lead her down paths she never could have expected to follow ...

When I picked up The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers, I had no idea it was a Christian novel.  In retrospect, the title probably should have given it away, if not the fact that it's published by Tyndale.  Somehow I missed these clues.  Not that I have anything against Christian/religious fiction, mind you.  I don't.  At least not if its lessons are taught with grace and subtlety through complex characters doing interesting things against vivid backgrounds.  The Last Sin Eater's Appalachian setting intrigued me from the start, as did its sympathetic story people.  All the conflict between Cadi, her family, and the village folk reeled me in as well.  In fact, I quite enjoyed the first half of the novel.  Then, it got preachy.  In an annoying, very heavy-handed way.  It became too much, even for me —and I spend at least three hours a week in church!  While I appreciated what the story had to say about the importance of repentance/forgiveness, letting Christ into our lives, and moving beyond the sins of the past, I didn't care for the novel's too-obvious sermonizing.  In the end, then, The Last Sin Eater was just an okay read for me.

(Readalikes:  Um, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)


If this were a movie (and, apparently, it is), it would be rated:

for violence, sexual innuendo and references to rape, adultery, and abuse

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of The Last Sin Eater with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.  


  1. I haven't read this particular Francine Rivers book. However, I read others that she's written. I do like her books, but it's been a while since I've read them. I'm a little intrigued by your description, but I'd have to be in the right mood.

  2. I've missed those clues before too and while I don't mind books with a Christian bent I don't care for book that are preachy. I think I'll pass on this one.

  3. I can't stand overly preachy books. Too bad this one couldn't maintain your interest past the first half.


Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

P.S.: Don't panic if your comment doesn't show up right away. I have to approve each one before it posts to prevent spam. It's annoying, but it works!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin


Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson


The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

Followin' with Bloglovin'


Followin' with Feedly

follow us in feedly

Grab my Button!

Blog Design by:

Blog Archive