I saw the movie based on this book, several times as a matter of fact, and was haunted by the story and characters and message for a long while. So, I decided to try out the book as well.
The story was fast-paced without sacrificing good writing and attention to detail. The author pulled you into most of the scenes and made you feel the emotions of most of the various characters. The characters were fairly complex, human, and grew throughout the book.
On the other hand, I felt that the character of the stranger (the preacher who camped by the rivier) didn't ring quite true. My biggest problem was with his dialogue. I could understand that he may have been practicing his Bible if he thought he was alone in his camp. I could even see him speaking the words of the Bible if he thought that he had a hidden audience. And, he did explain that he little experience with children.
But, didn't he know how to speak anything but "Bible"? The best, most evangilistic ministers with whom I had experience knew how to speak to people in their own language and how to draw on their own and others'sexperiences to get the point accross. Even Jesus did that. His Parables are one example.
The story provided a satisfying conclusion. Here, the preaching blended well with the story. I did think it unrealistic that the kids, who had only had two or three sessions with the stranger, could quote the Bible so well. In that area only, I felt that the climax in the movie. The message of salvation and redemption sounded much more natural and childlike.
On the whole, though, I found this to be an excellent book and I recommend it. Setting aside the Christian messege, it is a good historical novel. However, I don't think that the story could have been told without the message of redemption. That was the point.
As for those who have seen the movie or would like to, the movie parallels the book. But, the book delves deeper into the back stories of the characters, fleshes them out, and fills in the holes in the movie's plot.
I have read other books by Francine Rivers and this was totally different, but a wonderful story. I would recommend it to any one, but you will need to stick with the story for awhile and then you will reap the reward..
Francine Rivers always out does herself in getting the message of our Lord across... Even in an environment that leans on the old ways from the old country to take care of their sins... This book also has some color photos from the movie... a must read if you like Francine Rivers, smile.dg
I have read this book twice and have it on my "fav to re-read" shelf. It is a richly worded book of mountain life. The characters are human and fallible but strangely ethereal at times. They have faced life at its' worst and yet have an almost child-like outlook at times. I feel that this is one of Ms. Rivers best writing jobs so far.
"The first time I saw the sin-eater was the night Granny Forbes was carried to her grave."
Cadi Forbes knows it's forbidden, that it will bring curses down on her. But something deep and instinctive moves her to look upon the sin-eater anyway. And now the thought of finding him again consumes her.
According to custom, only the sin-eater can set her free from the sin that plagues her days and nights, the sin that has stolen her mother's love from her...Must she carry her guilt forever? Or is there Another who will atone for her?
A skillful blend of realistic characters, historical accuracy, and compelling mystery, The Last Sin-Eater is a story that will move the heart and spirit.
At first I did not understand the book or where the writer was taking me, but knowing that I have loved all of her other work, I read it to the end and it was AMAZING! Worth reading and then sharing with friends.
I really love Francine Rivers, so I thought I'd try this book. The language was hard to understand at first, but I caught on eventually. I love how the story shares the Gospel of Christ through the plot. It isn't her best work, but I'd recommend it.
I am always amazed at her writing. She does not lean on other novels to produce the next story. This one will take a little bit of reading to really get into it, but the message is clear and simple, there is only one sin-eater. Rivers takes a folk-tale from the smoky mountains and weaves it into a biblical lesson of redemption. Since I am familiar with the geographical area and the ownership the people pride themselves on, I can tell you that this story could take place in a heartbeat.
I absolutely Loved this book! I had to read it for an English class in high school and loved it from then on. I've read it at least 10 times. It's full of mystery, suspense, and a little humor. I recommend this book to everyone!
This book was especially interesting to me because it is about people from the Scottish Highlands and I am part Scottish. The people had come to America to settle near a mountain. One of the customs they brought with them was the use of a Sin-eater. The person was chosen by lot to take on the sins of the others after they died so they could go before God free of sin. The dead was laid out at the cemetery with a try carrying wine and bread. They believed the sin of the dead was absorbed into the food. At the end of the ceremony the people all turned their backs to the grave and the Sin-eater would come and eat the bread and drink the wine and then say a quick statement absolving them of their sin. The children were all warned not to look at the man or some of the sin in him might come upon them. The people all shunned the man and he had to live in the mountain all alone, alienated from his family and friends. When Cadi's grandmother died and she was at her funeral, Cadi heard sadness in the man's voice and couldn't resist looking. He looked like a normal man. She had a terrible guilt on her conscious since the death of her younger sister and decided she needed to find the Sin-eater and ask him to eat her sins now, before she died, to ease the burden of her soul. Her mother was only cold to her and she knew it was because she blamed Cadi for the lost of her favored child. At the same time a preacher of God came to the area and she heard him talking by the river. Cadi and an older boy went to see what he had to say even though they were told to stay away by the clan leader.
This story was interesting but I have a hard time believing the girl (Cadi) was only 10 years old. I think of kids of that age and this girl seemed so much older. Also, the things the preacher was saying was so scattered and it was all difficult language from the bible. I had a hard time following it but this 10 year old was able to understand and repeat it to others so that they understood as well. It really sounded like he was a crazy old man spouting nonsense but these two kids took it as gold and never questioned anything he said. That was difficult to believe but I did like the story anyway. I enjoyed the story about the cave and what they found there and how that story unfolded.
This was a interesting story about how a culture comes up with a way to remove sins. As usual, Francine Rivers tells a beautiful story through her words. This book is not one of her best but is still a good read.
Set in a remote valley in the Appalachians, this is a moving story of betrayal, superstition, and redemption. The teller's voice rings true, and the characters are diverse. An unusual and intriguing read.