The Last Sin Eater - Francine Rivers

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.