The Last Sin Eater Hardcover – Jul 1998
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From Library Journal
Even in her romances, Rivers (Redeeming Love, LJ 11/1/97) tackles some difficult issues, so this story of a family and a community in turmoil is different from her other books only in that it lacks a love interest. Ten-year-old Cadi's grief over her beloved grandmother?the only person who seemed to love her unconditionally?is compounded by a previous family tragedy for which she believes her family blames her. While at her grandmother's grave, Cadi sees the "sin eater," a human who absolves the residents of the tiny Smoky Mountain community of their sins. Somehow Cadi, touchingly portrayed by Rivers, comes to realize that the sin eater is false and learns of Jesus, and her conversion to Christianity leads to a reconciliation with her family. Rivers delivers both a powerful message about Christian beliefs and the need for forgiveness of sins and an evocative portrayal of life in the 1850s. Highly recommended.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Publisher
Taking a bold step into the arena of historical suspense, Francine Rivers draws readers into a captivating tale of suffering, seeking, and redemption. Set in the highlands of the Great Smoky Mountains, The Last Sin Eater is a masterful blend of realistic characters, historical accuracy, and compelling mystery. As always, Rivers weaves a story that goes beyond entertainment to the only One who can truly set us free: Jesus, the Christ.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
What follows is a beautifully drawn story of discovery, redemption, and grace. The characters are authentic and believable. The reader can empathize with Cadi's feelings of failure and inadequacy, experience her mother's pain and loss, and understand the resistance of the community to relinguish its old ways. Miss Rivers has done a beautiful job of creating parallels between the "sin eater" and Jesus Christ, the only true way to the throne, without making a mockery of the people she protrays.
This is the story of a girl's journey to find forgiveness. Her pain is deep and believable, and if you've ever needed forgiveness you will identify with her immediately.
All of the characters in The Last Sin Eater have depth. After finishing the book, I found myself thinking of them, something very few authors have made me do.
Although this is an easy read, it is suspenseful,humbling, heartwarming, and very well written. Definitely not one-dimensional. I laughed and I cried. I had to force myself to put it down at 3:30 a.m., (and it was difficult). I highly recommend it.
Some reviews stated they thought Cadi and Fagan's King James Bible talking unbelievable. I had no problem with it. Like the masterfully woven dialect, the way the children talked after being saved kept pace with the rest of the story.
For three nights (two in Fagan's case), they'd been listening to the "man of God" speak to them in this way (King James) for hours and hours. These children had no television, no deficit of attention as we do. :) They soaked up and repeated everything they'd heard over and over--to Miss Elda, to Bletsung, to the sin eater, to each other.
I also saw their child-like faith as a perfect picture of the new believer. The Word is everything then--nothing else matters. There is an urgency to witness and share that can only be described as "life or death".
For me, Rivers recaptured my own salvation experience and fascination with the Word of God. Althugh I still study the Bible daily and witness often, I spent hours after the final page searching myself for the initial passion (and compassion) for the lost I had during those first hours, days, weeks, of my conversion.
This book is not only an entertaining read, but a picture of how God blesses those who love them, even to a thousand generations. I wonder too, who among my ancestors held out, praying, hoping... for me.
And so Cadi plunges onward, encouraged by her new friend Miz Elda and accompanied by her friend Fagan and mysterious companion Lilybet. As Cadi's search for redemtion progresses, it becomes evident that much of her torment and grief center around the much-shadowed death of her little sister Elen and the shunning of her grief-stricken mother. But just when she begins to give up hope, a prophet enters the valley and both Cadi and Fagan grow up considerably after only several nights of his teaching the Word of Christ. Despite an ever-looming veil of foreboding as thick as the mists of the Smokeys, Cadi and Fagan are determined to spread the Word and save their valley from the flames.
Brogan Kai, the violent and quite mad self-appointed "leader" of the valley (and Fagan's father), launches a vicious attack on them, nearly killing Fagan. And so the wire snaps. The rest of the book follows their race against time as Fagan fights to stand up to his abusive father, Cadi confronts inner-demons, and the dark history of the valley is revealed during the children's struggle to redeem the sin-eater, save the valley, and expose the Word of Christ.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Beautifully written! Loved it! To God be the glory. This is another good book by Ms. Rivers, and I enjoyed every bit of it. Read morePublished 6 months ago by JasmineNj
This is a charming, touching, bittersweet, yet ultimately triumphant, book about intriguing archaic beliefs from past centuries: the idea that one person in a community be... Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2004
This book is completely unlike Rivers' other novels, but it is just as enthralling! I found the concept of the sin eater--and the redemption of one--to be very compelling. Read morePublished on June 25 2003 by R. L. Cobleigh
The book Atonement Child first turned me on to Francine Rivers books, but The Last Sin Eater has surpassed most of anything I have ever read. Read morePublished on April 2 2003 by M. De Vriend
WOW!! i was blown away by this book and the message that it sends out. This is a great book for people of all ages of every nation!! Read morePublished on April 1 2003 by Celisse