Happy July 4th weekend, friends! Carrie and I are delaying our First Friday virtual The Sin Eater book club by a week in honor of the holiday weekend, and we can’t wait to chat with you next Friday.
Also, with my site crashing a couple of weeks ago, things got shifted around here a bit, and the original publishing of our June book club appears to have been lost. So we are republishing today and extending entries for the giveaway of a copy of 28 summers to Monday, 7/6/20 at 1pm EST. To enter, just leave a comment on this blog post. Terms of giveaway listed below (just ignore the ending date!) And, if you already commented on the original post, no worries–I have your name on my list!
Thanks so much for your patience while we sorted all of this, and go enjoy the weekend!
Thank you to Carrie of Normal Level of Crazy for bringing our The Sin Eater Book Club Discussion this month!
Well if there’s one advantage to quarantine, it’s provided me time to read lots and lots of books! Should I be cleaning out the basement, getting in more exercise, writing short stories? Probably. But reading is just so much more fun! I hope you all are surviving out there and staying healthy and safe!
The Sin Eater Book Club Discussion
Meredith picked this month’s book, The Sin Eater by Megan Campisi, for our virtual book club and I couldn’t be happier. This is not a book I would have normally picked up and I find that to be the best part of a book club. There were a plethora of things I loved about this book, so if you haven’t read it yet, give it a shot! This is coming from someone that typically sticks to mysteries and rom-coms.
Megan Campisi did her research on this one! Running across an old reference to people eating foods to take away the sins of the dying, she expanded and developed a fascinating story. While this is obviously fiction, I couldn’t help but be transported back to an Elizabethan type time period where the division between the societal classes was, frankly, jarring. You were rich and connected and lived in or near the castle of the ruling queen or you were terribly poor, starving and barely surviving.
May is our main character and I found her ever growing maturity to be the most interesting part of the book. From being a young girl, stealing a loaf of bread, to becoming a sin eater, eventually using the power of fear to accomplish her goals, she stole the show. It was interesting how her pariah status both seemed to remove her power but at the same time intensify her power. The feminist elements within the novel only made it that much more compelling.
The Sin Eater Book Club Discussion Questions
What were your thoughts on May’s character? Did you see the thread of feminism throughout the book?
May’s development into a sin eater was encouraged by her mentor, Ruth, the current sin eater. Ruth could not speak, as sin eater’s are not allowed, and this provided some interesting frustration in the beginning for May. May developed quite the bond with Ruth, though, and that bond is what pushed May to find out why Ruth refused to eat a deer’s heart off of a coffin in the castle.
What are your thoughts on her dedication to Ruth? Deserved?
May has to come to grips with her family of origin, especially after her death bed discussion with Bessie. It seemed to me that she swung back and forth between her mother’s family and her father’s influence, but by the end found her bearings and discovered what was best for her. Also along the way, she seemed to find a different group of people that ended up being her chosen family.
What were your thoughts regarding the conflict within May regarding her family? Do you feel she found a balance?
Without giving away the details of the mystery and the ending, I really enjoyed the complexity of the story of Queen Bethany. Her perilous hold on the throne really emphasized women’s roles, while the descriptions of servants and royal advisors highlighted the scheming that was taking place from numerous angles.
What were your thoughts on the ending? Satisfying? Or did you have some unanswered questions?
For me, there was a certain level of frustration at the ending, but not in a negative way. I enjoyed how Campisi ended with May in more control of her life and truly matured. I think I would have liked a little bit more of a closure on the mystery part of the story, but not so much that if effected my overall opinion of the book.
And how about those descriptions of the towns, the people, the castle, the garb, the food?
I thought this was such a huge strength of the book. Like I said earlier, Campisi did her research! I felt fully immersed in the time period. It reminded me of a time our middle school class went to a Renaissance Faire! Her details really enhanced the story and made it come to life!
There is so much more to discuss about this book – religion being one of the biggest. I hope you were able to read this with a friend and really have an in depth discussion about it. I know I’m looking forward to my chat with Meredith about it! Thanks so much. for joining us for our The Sin Eater Book Club Discussion, friends.
Meredith and I are super excited about our next pick, 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand! Read on for the description below, and as always, we are giving away a copy for free! Leave a comment on this blog post by 6/12/20 by 5:30am ET, and as long as you are 18 or older and live in the continental United States, you are eligible to win!
When Mallory Blessing’s son, Link, receives deathbed instructions from his mother to call a number on a slip of paper in her desk drawer, he’s not sure what to expect. But he certainly does not expect Jake McCloud to answer. It’s the late spring of 2020 and Jake’s wife, Ursula DeGournsey, is the frontrunner in the upcoming Presidential election.
There must be a mistake, Link thinks. How do Mallory and Jake know each other?
Flash back to the sweet summer of 1993: Mallory has just inherited a beachfront cottage on Nantucket from her aunt, and she agrees to host her brother’s bachelor party. Cooper’s friend from college, Jake McCloud, attends, and Jake and Mallory form a bond that will persevere — through marriage, children, and Ursula’s stratospheric political rise — until Mallory learns she’s dying.
Based on the classic film Same Time Next Year (which Mallory and Jake watch every summer), 28 Summers explores the agony and romance of a one-weekend-per-year affair and the dramatic ways this relationship complicates and enriches their lives, and the lives of the people they love.
Thanks so much for joining our The Sin Eater book club discussion! As always, we love hearing your thoughts and opinions! Keep them coming!!
Stay healthy and safe out there! We’re thinking about all of you! xo
*Thank you to Atria Books for providing a copy of Sin Eater for us to review and give away! All opinions are 100% our own.*