Sinful Folk Book Review
Publication Date: January 22, 2014
Formats: eBook, Hardcover, Audiobook
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery/Medieval
A tragic loss. A desperate journey. A mother seeks the truth.
In December of 1377, four children were burned to death in a house fire. Villagers traveled hundreds of miles across England to demand justice for their children’s deaths.
Sinful Folk is the story of this terrible mid-winter journey as seen by Mear, a former nun who has lived for a decade disguised as a mute man, raising her son quietly in this isolated village. For years, she has concealed herself and all her history. But on this journey, she will find the strength to redeem the promise of her past. Mear begins her journey in terror and heartache, and ends in triumph and transcendence.
The remarkable new novel by Ned Hayes, illustrated by New York Times bestselling author/illustrator Nikki McClure, Sinful Folk illuminates the medieval era with profound insight and compassion.
Praise for Sinful Folk
In December of 1377, five children are burned in a suspicious house fire. Awash in paranoia and prejudice, the fathers suspect it is the work of Jews and set out to seek justice from the king, loading the charred bodies of their boys onto a cart. Unbeknownst to them, among them is a woman, Mear, who has been hiding out in the town for the past 10 years posing as a mute man. It is a treacherous journey, for their rations are spare and the weather is brutal. And always, they are haunted by the question, Why were their boys in Benedict the weaver’s house, and who would do this to them? Mear, ever resourceful, not only watches for clues to unravel the mystery but also provides invaluable aid in finding their way, for she has traveled this way before and is the only literate one among them. The reason for her false identity is slowly revealed as the villagers are chased by bandits and must overcome numerous obstacles, hunger and fear among them. Brilliantly conceived and beautifully executed, Hayes’ novel is woven through with a deep knowledge of medieval history, all conveyed in mesmerizing prose. At the center of the novel is Mear, a brave and heartbreaking character whose story of triumph over adversity is a joy to read. --Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist *Starred Review*
"A pilgrim tale worthy of Chaucer, evocative, compelling and peopled with unforgettable characters artfully delivered by a master storyteller." - Brenda Rickman Vantrease, bestselling author of The Illuminator and The Mercy Seller
"Brilliant, insightful, unflinching and wise. This spellbinding mystery will keep readers turning pages until the last sentence. Remarkable." - Ella March Chase, bestselling author of The Virgin Queen's Daughter and Three Maids for a Crown
"Suspenseful, page-turning mystery of a mother pursuing the truth... Every reader will come to love the brave and intrepid Mear, a most memorable character in a most memorable story." - Jim Heynen, award-winning author of The Fall of Alice K.
"Sinful Folk is a work of art. Miriam's story is a raw and brutal and passionate tale, but her story touches the reader because it's a timeless story - a wonderful portrayal of medieval life. Highly recommended." - Kathryn Le Veque, bestselling author of The Dark Lord and The Warrior Poet
"A suspenseful and mesmerizing tale full of rich and vital characters. Ned Hayes crafts a narrative that shows a devotion to craft in each word." - Renée Miller, editor of On Fiction and author of In the Bones
Buy the Book
Booknote Interview with Ned Hayes
I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
Miriam Houmout has many secrets. After living ten years as a mute man raising her only son in the small village, Duns. She becomes apprentice to the local smithy, Salvius, as her young son, Christian, works with the other young boys helping Benedict the weaver. She's kept her secret close to her heart and only one person has ever known her true identity, her deceased friend Nell. No one knows who actually killed Nell, but everyone assumes it was one of the men working there during the harvest. But when the weaver's home burns to the ground with Christian and four other boys inside, all of the men scream for justice. This book tells of their journey to London and all of the difficulties they endured. When secrets are revealed, everyone's world is forever changed.
This was a very engrossing novel. We tend to forget how women were treated in medieval times. They were never allowed to know or do any of the things Miriam had accomplished. A woman hunter was unheard of, as was a woman that could read and write. This was an excellently written novel, with such vivid details that the story just comes to life. If you like historical fiction and want to learn more about the medieval era, then this is definitely a book you'll love!
Ned Hayes is a candidate for an MFA from the Rainier Writer’s Workshop, and holds graduate degrees in English and Theology from Western Washington University and Seattle University.
Born in China, he grew up bi-lingually, speaking both Mandarin and English. He now lives in Olympia, Washington with his wife and two children.
For more information please visit www.sinfulfolk.com and www.nednote.com. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Booklikes, YouTube, Google+, and Goodreads.
Sinful Folk Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, October 20
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, October 21
Review at Historical Novel Review
Wednesday, October 22
Spotlight at What is That Book About
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Thursday, October 23
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective
Guest Post at Books and Benches
Monday, October 27
Review at Just One More Chapter
Spotlight & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection
Tuesday, October 28
Interview at Layered Pages
Wednesday, October 29
Review at Back Porchervations
Thursday, October 30
Interview at Back Porchervations
Friday, October 31
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict
Monday, November 3
Interview at Triclinium
Spotlight at Boom Baby Reviews
Tuesday, November 4
Spotlight at Historical Tapestry
Wednesday, November 5
Review at Deal Sharing Aunt
Thursday, November 6
Review at bookramblings
Saturday, November 8
Review at Book Nerd
Monday, November 10
Review at Book Babe
Tuesday, November 11
Review at Impressions in Ink
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Friday, November 14
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Tuesday, November 18
Review at CelticLady's Reviews
Review & Giveaway at Beth's Book Reviews
Wednesday, November 19
Review at Books in the Burbs
Review at Bookworm Babblings
Thursday, November 20
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Friday, November 21
Review at Library Educated