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Description - The Sin Eaters by Andrew Beahrs

The journey begins when Sarah, a strong, aging, haunted woman, defies Sam Ridley, lord of her small English village. After a cruel punishment prompts Sarah's swift, unforgettable revenge, Ridley takes his own brutal oath of vengeance. Forced to flee the village, Sarah meets Bill, a sin eater, who believes himself infected by the crimes of the unforgiven dead. Sarah's compelling need to heal Bill - and her own wounded memories - binds them together more strongly than blood. Together with Mary, a young girl freed from the prison of a cold, unwilling marriage, they flee for the coast across a landscape haunted by memory."The Sin Eaters" follows this unforgettable company through the meadows, rain-soaked forests, and thriving cities of a spellbindingly reimagined Jacobean England. Their flight from the vengeance of the proud, murderous Sam Ridley will bring them face-to-face with their own pasts - and to a fate as unexpected as it is moving.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781592642366
ISBN-10: 1592642365
Format: Hardback
(222mm x 146mm x 25mm)
Pages: 250
Imprint: Toby Press Ltd
Publisher: Toby Press Ltd
Publish Date: 20-Oct-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - The Sin Eaters by Andrew Beahrs

US Kirkus Review » An upmarket historical novel, offering a meditation on sin and a panorama of early 17th-century England, follows two outcasts on the run who form an unlikely and affecting bond.As concerned to capture the sound and texture of the past as to tell his story, Beahrs (Strange Saint, 2005, etc.) employs archaic, often poetic language and utilizes a welter of period detail. His England is a busy, often pitiless place, now in additional ferment as vagabonds are encouraged by landlords to enclose the common lands, bringing further hardship to the local peasantry. When elderly widowed herbalist and healer Sarah complains to Sam Ridley, the leader of one such group, she is forced to wear a scold's bridle. Taking her revenge, she flees the village, to be joined on the road by Bill Palmer, a sin-eater (someone so desperate and hungry that they consume corpse food which will supposedly transfer the sins of the recently dead into the live body). As they travel, Sarah applies her skills to cleansing him, at least physically. When Ridley catches up to them, Sarah uses herbs to drug him, moving on again to the seaside town of Northam, scene of a violent episode in her past and now the place where Ridley and Bill fatally confront each other. Sarah will pay loving homage to Bill before leaving by ship for a new life in Virginia, in the colonies.Sensitive work - sometimes fusty, finally affecting. (Kirkus Reviews)

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