Rating: four out of five stars
Plot: Cadi Forbes suffers from guilt. The only person who ever made her feel free of that guilt was her grandma, but one day her grandma dies. Thus the adventure that will lead her on a search for the ultimate truth begins. In light of her grandma's death there is need for the sin eater. When the sin eater comes to take away all of her grandmother's sins, Cadi dares to do what no other has the courage to do: look the sin eater in the eyes. Cadi's guilt weighs her down and she decides not to rest until she can find the sin eater and get him to take her sins away. Her plans complicate when a man of God appears at the nearby river, preaching the story of Christ. Many secrets lay waiting to be found and Cadi's quest to rid herself of guilt is only the beginning of it. Much more awaits for you to learn.
In seeking her own redemption from the one man of whom she is most afraid, 10-year-old Cadi Forbes discovers a secret sin haunting her community of Welsh immigrants in 1850s Appalachia.
In 1850s Appalachia, 10-year-old CADI FORBES feels responsible for her little sister's death, so she searches out the one man she feels can take away her sin -- The Sin Eater. But in her quest for redemption, Cadi uncovers a dark secret that threatens to divide her family and community.
My Comments: My first introduction to this story was through the film. The film confuses those who have not read the book until the very end, but is very inspiring overall. The mystery makes the story what it is, however, and I would not ask the film writers to reveal everything at once at the beginning. I checked out the movie version a while back to view it again. Now that I understood what was going on it meant a lot more to me than it did before. I cried through the entire film. Ironically, the only complaint I have about the book is that Cadi cries too much. The book surpasses the movie immensly. If you're going to choose between the two, choose the book. As usual the book contains scenes, characters, plots, and mysteries that the movie cut. The real attention getter, however, comes from the fact that Francine Rivers writes with such incredible talent. The descriptions she gives are beautiful and full of imagery. On top of that she develops the characters and the plot in a way that will keep you guessing through the entire story and have you attached to the characters by the time you finish reading. What I find most interesting about this book is the way Rivers narrates what the characters are thinking. Readers can relate to all the characters and feel like they are in the characters shoes. Along with that, Rivers inserts the questions and answers of a new believer or even one who already believes.