Review: Megan Campisi – The Sin Eater

The Sin Eater
Megan Campisi

May is thinking only of where her next meal is coming from, but she gets caught stealing a loaf of bread (how stereotypical!). The next thing she knows, she’s the town’s resident Sin Eater – bound to eat the sins of others on their deathbed. While her stomach might be full, her heart and life seem empty.

This novel initially had a lot going for it. I read ‘The Sin Eater’s Daughter‘ originally, and I actually first thought that this was a reprint of it. However, the longer the novel went on, the more painful it became. I couldn’t understand the purpose behind it.

What this novel did spark interest in me about was tongue tattooing. Is it really done? How much does it hurt? How accurate is the healing process? A quick google tells me that yes – people do it, no – it doesn’t really hurt that much and it should only take 3 weeks to heal up. In fact, a tongue tattoo isn’t a forever tattoo – it will eventually wear away. It can also damage your tastebuds. Hawaiian women used to have this done as part of tribal practices. Fascinating!

Maybe I’m not the target audience? I can’t say that English history (or history in general) excites me, and the theoretical wrong-doing of Queen Elizabeth I left me cold. Also, I didn’t even make that connection between the Bethany in the story and Queen Elizabeth – I had to go hunting through GoodReads reviews to find this interesting fact out.

I’m going to give this 2 stars from me. It didn’t seem that interesting, and as I wrote the review I felt more ambivalent about it. I’d recommend it for someone who enjoys historical fiction, and perhaps Elizabethan history in particular.

Pan Macmillan | 1st April 2020 | AU$29.99 | paperback

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