Sinful Folk is the story of a mother who carries a hidden secret and a terrible grief. In December of the year 1377, the village of Duns in northeast England suffered a great tragedy when five children died. The villagers demanded justice from the King.
Sinful Folk is the story of these villagers who undertook a desperate mid-winter journey with their dead children all the way across England to the King's throne. Mear, a former nun who has lived for a decade disguised as a mute man, has her own reasons for going along on this quest. Yet one by one, all her secrets come out, and she finds the strength to claim her birthright, and accuse the murderer.
Sinful Folk begins in terror and heartache, and ends in triumph and redemption.
©2014 Ned Hayes (P)2014 Ned Hayes
The most enjoyable aspect of the story is the unflinching glimpse at life for ordinary folk in Western Europe in the 16th century: starvation, disease and ignorance all under the capricious glare of the church and nobility. There are a couple of mysteries here that maybe could have unfolded with less complication. And, overall, the story was not as crisp as it could have been and seemed to have a muted focus. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the history and the suspense. The narration was good and certainly did not distract from the story. Overall a 3.75 and worth a credit.
Sinful Folk ranks in the top echelon of all audiobooks I have listened to over the past 20 years. The story of medieval peasants seeking justice for their sons' death is compelling and relating their journey through Mear makes it even more so.
I cannot praise the narrator, Anne Day-Jones, highly enough. She was able to portray each of the characters effortlessly and her facile switching to flawless French when called for by the text was remarkable.
I read and listened to both the Kindle and Audible versions through Immersion Reading and highly recommend either or both. I generally do not reread books but this may be the only Audible book I will actually listen to again.
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