On behalf of: Represented by Stephanie Cabot
The Handmaid’s Tale meets Alice in Wonderland in this gripping and imaginative historical novel.
For the crime of stealing bread, fourteen-year-old May receives a life sentence: she must become a Sin Eater–a shunned woman, brutally marked, whose fate is to hear the final confessions of the dying, eat ritual foods symbolizing their sins as a funeral rite, and thereby shoulder their transgressions to grant their souls access to heaven.
Orphaned and friendless, apprenticed to an older Sin Eater who cannot speak to her, May must make her way in a dangerous and cruel world she barely understands. When a deer heart appears on the coffin of a royal governess who did not confess to the dreadful sin it represents, the older Sin Eater refuses to eat it. She is taken to prison, tortured, and killed. To avenge her death, May must find out who placed the deer heart on the coffin and why.
“A dark, rich story replete with humor, unforgettable characters, and arcane mysteries. It casts a spell onyour heart and mind until the final page.”— Jennie Melamed, author of Gather the Daughters.
“A keenly researched feminist arc of unexpected abundance, reckoning, intellect, and ferocious survival.”— Maria Dahvana Headley, author of The Mere Wife.
“A riveting depiction of hard-won female empowerment that weaves together meticulous research, unsolved murder–and an unforgettable young heroine.”— The Washington Post
“Richly imaginative and strikingly contemporary.” — Kirkus
“A dark, propulsive novel that twists your stomach in all the right ways.” — Lit Hub“[A] rousing, impressive debut… This spellbinding novel is a treat for fans of feminist speculative fiction.” — Publishers Weekly
“Magnificent…complex, vivid… This vision of Renaissance outsiders is exactly what historical fiction lovers have unknowingly craved.”
— New York Journal of Books