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This is a very well written story that leads you on a timeless journey of true, ultimate forgiveness.When Cadi Forbes is traumatically altered by the death of her younger sister, she burdens herself with the belief that she killed her. Not wanting to continue living with this black mark on her soul, Cadi begins to search out a man who can clean her of the sin that plagues her. The sin that has stolen her mother’s love from her and made her wish she could flee life and its terrible injustices.

At her grannie’s funeral Cadi comes in contact with the one man she is told can save from sins. The trouble is, she has to be dead in order for this outcast monster to take her sins upon himself. What Cadi doesn’t know that the “sin eater” is seeking as well. And when this flesh and blood man fails her, they both must come to grips with the implications of his powerlessness. Before their journeys are over, Cadi and the sin eater must face themselves, each other, and the One who will demand everything from them in exchange for the answers they seek. Eventually Cadi leads the community away from the notion of a tainted sin eater, and toward a fundamental faith in Jesus the redeemer. A captivating tale of suffering, seeking, and redemption.

This book surprisingly became one of my favorites. I didn’t think the story would captivate me the way that it did. While the book holds lots of surprising twists and turns, as well as some very deep seated intrigue and betrayal, it was the themes of the book that held me spellbound. The book is well written, and packs a lot of theological truth in such a way that it does not seem “preachy”, in a negative sense.

While The Last Sin Eater is well worth the read, it does deal with some mature subjects (death, rape, and sex outside of marriage). The content is mature, but it is mostly done in casual reference, and never described. The text hints at these things, instead of describing them. They are all dealt with as a past event, and not portrayed favorably. While I understand the hesitation of some readers because of this content, it is not violating in any way.

The only real mature subjects that are specifically dealt with in depth are, firstly, suicide. After her sins cannot be taken from her by the sin eater while she is still alive, Cadi goes off to “do it the proper way”. She intends on jumping into a gorge and ending her life in order to have her sins removed. She is stopped, and the subject is portrayed negatively, but it is none the less dealt with.

The second mature subject is abuse. This theme is fairly prevalent in the story. The Kai is the clan leader, and he is a controlling, hate filled man. Fagan, the Kai’s younger son and close friend to Cadi, is obviously enduring physical beatings throughout the story. However, we witness the Kai’s abuse first hand when he threatens to kill Cadi if she goes to see the Man of God again. The Kai proceeds to choke her until she passes out. Again we witness the Kai’s violence when he beats someone to death. When Fagan steps in between his father’s fists of rage and the victim, we also see the Kai beat his son near death. While these are disturbing subjects, Francine Rivers deals with them well, and the power of these scenes, as well as their necessity, outweighed any negative impact.

The book still remains on my favorites list. I would highly recommend it to all my friends. However, I would advise caution for younger audiences. My little sister will not be reading this book for a very long time, but I would have my 16 year old brother read it. This book will become a timeless classic, and is well worth the money I paid for it.


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Published on 8 May, 2011. Last updated on

5 Comments

  1. Jeffrey French

    Excellent review! I just finish reading this book itself, and I agree it has unexpectedly become a favorite of mine as well.

    Highly recommended!

  2. Anonymous

    1 question. Would you let a 13 year old girl read this? I have read some of her books before(Reeming Love as one of them). I would like to know anyone’s oppinon.

  3. Kaitlyn E.

    For me, it would depend on the maturity of the 13 year old, as well as what her parents have talked to her about/exposed her to. My little sister at 13 would probably not read it, but I would have been able to read it at 13. So it is hard for me to give you a definitive answer, without knowing the 13 year old in question.

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Into the Book was born out of a crazy idea of a blog that'd provide book reviews for teens. There aren't very many book review websites out there exposing awesome, high-quality Christian literature, and there are even fewer that target teenagers. Since 2009, we've been providing high-quality book reviews to the world through our blog. Into the Book has grown around reviews since then, but it remains our oldest project.

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