From TBR Pile – Review

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Blog Tour: Sinful folk by Ned Hayes

Author: Ned Hayes
Publisher: Campanile Books
Date of publication: January 2014

In December of the year 1377, five children burned to death in a suspicious house fire. The historical record shows that a small band of villagers traveled 200 miles across England in midwinter to demand justice for their children’s deaths. Two hundred miles. In that time, an unimaginable distance for villagers who lived their entire lives only a few miles from their birthplace.


Sinful Folk is the story of this treacherous journey as seen by Mear, a former nun who has lived for a decade disguised as a mute and fearful man, raising her son quietly in this isolated village. When her son is killed, Mear wakes from her complacent life and undertakes a desperate journey. The villagers travel across a harsh and unforgiving winter landscape. Propelled forward by a vision of justice, the villagers persevere in the face of bandit raids, ecclesiastical execution orders, starvation, kidnapping, and dissension in their own ranks.
I’ll start out by saying Sinful Folk is a big change from the books I normally read.  But, I am always willing to give a book a chance.  It’s the only way to expand my horizons, right?  That being said, I only made it about halfway through this book before giving up.

I’ll start with what I liked.  The writing was good and I thought the descriptions of life in that time were vivid and well portrayed.  Enough to know I am glad I didn’t live then!  I also thought the idea for the story was a good one. I liked Mear’s character and my heart broke for her loss as well as the sacrifices that she made over the years for her son. I listened to the audiobook and I thought the narrator did a great job.

What I found was the story was a bit repetitive and that really slowed it down for me.  I had a hard time keeping some of the characters straight but I think that was just because my interest kept drifting.  I am going to chalk this book up to just not being a good fit for me.  I know any reader who enjoys this genre will devour this book.  So, I do recommend giving it a shot.