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Hardcover The Sin Eater Book

ISBN: 0525675418

ISBN13: 9780525675419

The Sin Eater

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

After Cole's mother dies, he and his father go to live with his mother's parents in tiny Albion, New Hampshire. The Emersons make it easier for Cole to cope -- but he is helpless in the face of his... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Sin Eater - Loved the story

"Sin Eater" was a delightful yet semi-depressing story. The protagonist (Cole) is a young boy who lost his mother to cancer and lost his father to depression. You just want to shake the father and tell him to get a grip! Grieving comes in all forms though and Cole ends up being the stronger of the two. The father and Cole move to New Hampshire to live with Cole's grandparents. The relationship between the two grandparents is heartwarming and comical. It makes you wonder...would the grandfather have acted the same as the father if he lost his wife? The story revolves around death and family. Cole moves to New Hampshire after his mother's death, he bonds with his grandparents who seem to meet his needs and he makes new friends (good friends). In the midst of all this, Cole stumbles onto the history of the Sin Eater. As he learns more about the sin eater, he learns more about his ancestry. Anyway, the end will leave you wondering and questioning, what would make a man want to give up on life? Obviously he loved his wife tremendously. His actions could be considered very romantic instead of depressing. Is love really that deep? The grandparents are wonderful. I love the relationship they share with each other. The cantankerous ole fool! lol. They're funny and bring a sense of groundedness to the story. Gary Schmidt has a way of writing that makes you feel like you're there. You can almost smell the meadows and the hayfields and the manure! He's very descriptive! He has a very pretty way of writing. The words he choses and the way he describes things...it's just very pretty!

Sin Eater

Overall I was very pleased with this book. Being familiar with the myth of the "Sin Eater", I was very excited about the topic of what I thought the book would present. After reading about one third of the way through however, I found it slightly odd and frankly disappointing that there had been only a brief sentence or two about a sin eater which appeared within the first chapter of the book. Not to be swayed, however, the book up to that point was filled with emotion and heartache. A young boy and his father return to the family farm after his mother's funeral to start a new life with his grandparents. There is an emptiness that rings through that pages that anyone can take to heart. Cole, the now motherless boy, narrates the text filled with daydreamed memories and a mournful spirit. Cole is not the only the reader routes for throughout the book. The grandparents are overflowing with a familiarity to my own family that is difficult to overlook. The language that Schmidt uses in anything from dialogue to description is precise and easy to relate to. The images that he paints with words almost pop in the head without purposeful thought. I did find the plot to move quite slowly for the first 100 pages or so. Although the background and daily observations were necessary to tie the whole story together, I did find myself aching for action. Although the title of the book leads one to believe Schmidt will tell a glorified tale of a real and local sin eater, that is not the case. That may leave some disappointment, but the book adds the myth just enough to flavor the true plot. The novel also brings in minor plots about making friends, being compassionate and trying to make the best out of heartache and sorrow. Throughout the novel Cole discovers a story about a sin eater who in fact lived on the very same farm he was living on generations ago. The tale of the sin eater leads Cole through a search on his own ancestors. He discovers a generation full of guilt and grudges. He is able to personalize his own feelings of guilt and pain in the memory and stories of his ancestors. Just when the reader has felt enough pain on the behalf of Cole, Schmidt adds a suicide of Cole's father that brings the reader to tears. Schmidt sets the stage and story in such a way that the reader feels the same anger and confusion as Cole. The reader is left in shock and asking why, although they should have seen it coming. Although the story is woven in pain, it gives the reader a boy reveling in his own family history to find a way to release his own guilt and anger. In the end, Cole uses the story of the sin eater who loosed the guilt of an ancestor and his adopted son to rid Cole of his own guilt and anger toward the loss of his parents.

Scmidt and the Sin Eater

After reading these past reviews as compared to the booklist review, I cannot see how a critic can compare to the real people this book was written for--the regular reader. though it took me but a day to read this book, I found it invigorating, insightful and meaningful. I must admit, I am quite biased, Schmidt is one of my professors and mentors. Yet, regardless of this fact, this story is one that should be told. If not for the story itself, then for the moral and the message behind it--that one shouldn't let the hardships of life bring them down, that life goes on..we should charish life.

This is one of the best young-adult books I've ever read.

This book is a true gem. It is beautifully written and constructed. The reviewer from Booklist seems to have misunderstood the book when she said that the Sin Eater element was not well integrated -- all of the elements of this book are perfectly integrated. It is, in fact, the Sin Eater "character"(as well as Cole's grandparents, friends and community) that allow Cole to cope with and understand his loss. This is a truly beautiful book with many layers of meaning. It is about the value of family history and experience, the past, community, faith... It's a book that will make you think. It's a book you will want to reread. Don't take it lightly and don't miss it!

This is one of the few well-written young adult novels.

This is an amazing novel that is truly an example of fine writing. Ilene Cooper's review is fairly accurate. However, she did miss the point in one aspect. I read this book to my Seventh grade English students and they did grasp the "Ambiguous" themes and thoroughly enjoyed the description. The characters are sincere and well thought out. They were real. I am offended by the comment that only "Astute" readers will grasp the concept of the book. Not only should Schmidt not be under-estimated, the target audience should also not be under-estimated. I strongly recommend that this book be read. Schmidt has given young adults what they needed, a book that treats them like the young adults that they are. This book and the author will be a powerful asset in any library. I intend it to be part of my curriculum next school year.
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