Wow! I had no idea what I was getting into with this book. Once I started reading it, I was engrossed with the story, the characters, the plot, the writing. There were so many twists and turns that I was on the edge of my seat. Mear was a fascinating character, she stayed with me. She haunted me, my heart broke for her, the injustices she suffered infuriated me. She is one of those characters that stays long after the story is over. I loved this book, spent many late nights reading it waiting to figure out what happened to these children. Tremendous story and book!
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*