Publication Date: January 22, 2014
Formats: eBook, Hardcover, Audiobook
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery/Medieval
A tragic loss. A desperate journey. A mother seeks the truth.
In December of 1377, four children were burned to death in a house fire. Villagers traveled hundreds of miles across England to demand justice for their children’s deaths.
Sinful Folk is the story of this terrible mid-winter journey as seen by Mear, a former nun who has lived for a decade disguised as a mute man, raising her son quietly in this isolated village. For years, she has concealed herself and all her history. But on this journey, she will find the strength to redeem the promise of her past. Mear begins her journey in terror and heartache, and ends in triumph and transcendence.
The remarkable new novel by Ned Hayes, illustrated by New York Times bestselling author/illustrator Nikki McClure, Sinful Folk illuminates the medieval era with profound insight and compassion.
Buy the Book
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
Barnes & Noble (Hardcover)
Booknote Interview with Ned Hayes
About the Author
Ned Hayes is the author of the Amazon best-selling historical novel SINFUL FOLK. He is also the author of Coeur d’Alene Waters, a noir mystery set in the Pacific Northwest. He is now at work on a new novel, Garden of Earthly Delights, also set in the Middle Ages.
Ned Hayes is a candidate for an MFA from the Rainier Writer’s Workshop, and holds graduate degrees in English and Theology from Western Washington University and Seattle University.
Born in China, he grew up bi-lingually, speaking both Mandarin and English. He now lives in Olympia, Washington with his wife and two children.
For more information please visit www.sinfulfolk.com and www.nednote.com. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Booklikes, YouTube, Google+, and Goodreads.
My Review: I read a lot of historical fiction, obviously. I have my favorite genres and time-periods, I have many favorite historical figures who I like seeing fictionalized. It adds a human element to them that one doesn’t always get from biographies or historical non-fiction. When I’m reading a ‘histfic’ book, I suppose you might be saying that I have a type. I wanted to branch away from that and when the opportunity pops up, I go for it. Insert ‘Sinful Folk’. It’s based in the 14th century (1377) and begins straight away with a fire that kills 5 of the town’s boys. (Why? How?) Angry, confused and generally unsure of what to do, the men (and Mear) decide to take the King’s road (which, they need a lord’s permission to do and don’t have). It’s a harsh road to travel down as it’s winter and none of them particularly trust one another. Their supplies are sparse as well. Each has a secret and bandits follow after them at each twist and turn.
The author has a tremendous gift in that his descriptions are very thought inspiring and his description of the mob-like mentality of the townspeople is actually quite terrifying. They are very quick to point their fingers at someone as being a witch or a Jew; most of who have converted to Christianity in order to stay alive. It seems a strange thing to be afraid of, but such a mentality is frightening when you think about it. If you offend one person…they could accuse you and you’d be killed.
Mear is a fantastic lead character and I love how we learned about her and her backstory. Seeing her agony at the loss of her son, my heart broke for her. I could imagine the wails she let out and truly, I was saddened. I enjoyed seeing the moments where she fluctuated between being masculine and feminine. I can’t imagine living amongst an unfamiliar town as a mute and posing as a man. I would like to see her again in another book. I would gladly read it as I will anything else this author puts out. Absolutely brilliant. I enjoyed the detail and the historical accuracy and use of language, which was fairly accurate for the time. It reminded me immensely of Chaucer.
I think you’ll greatly enjoy this!
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