Synopses & Reviews
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.
An inspiring story of tenacity, perseverance and courage, Sinful Folk tells the story of this treacherous 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 secrets. But in this quest, she finds the strength to claim the promise of her past and redeem her future. Mear begins her journey in terror and heartache, and ends in triumph and transcendence.
Starkly illustrated with a handcut cover and internal charcoal art by New York Times bestselling illustrator Nikki McClure, Sinful Folk is a rich literary pleasure, as enthralling as Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, as insightful as Anita Diamant's The Red Tent and as lyrical as Geraldine Brooks' Year of Wonders.
"In mesmerizing prose, Ned Hayes crafts a fascinating tale made up of equal parts history and pain. A powerful work, exquisitely crafted and taut with historical perspective and deep insight into character and history. Highly recommended." BookNote, starred review
"An exquisitely written historical thriller....Told by a brave and charismatic narrator who will twist your heart-strings with her story from the first page to final startling revelation. An amazing novel based on a truly fascinating, unsolved mystery of the Middle Ages." Karen Maitland, best-selling author of The Owl Killers and Company of Liars
"Brilliant, insightful, unflinching and wise. Master storyteller Ned Hayes has created a fascinating tale of a woman who finds her voice in a brutal world determined to silence her. Mear's quest on behalf of her child will capture your heart. She demands truth after an unspeakable loss. She wins justice for innocents. Her courageous choices in the face of evil will offer redemption, even to those dismissed as Sinful Folk. This spellbinding mystery will keep readers turning pages until the last sentence. Remarkable."
Ella March Chase, bestselling author of The Virgin Queen's Daughter
"Sinful Folk is a beautiful and bleak tale — a murder mystery and a journey of personal revelation. Ned Hayes takes the reader on a time machine trip to the harsh and hopeful life that ordinary people really lived."
William Dietrich, Pulitzer Prize winning, best-selling author of The Ethan Gage series
"Suspenseful, page-turning mystery of a mother pursuing the truth....Every reader will come to love the brave and intrepid Mear, a most memorable character in a most memorable story."
Jim Heynen, award-winning author of The Fall of Alice K.
About the Author
Ned Hayes is a writer whose work has broadly appeared in magazines, literary journals, and anthologies. He teaches at universities in the Pacific Northwest, and he is now a candidate for an MFA through the Rainier Writing Workshop.
Born in China, he grew up bilingually, speaking both Mandarin and English. He now lives with his family in Olympia, Washington.
More about Ned Hayes at http://NedNote.com
More about this book at http://SinfulFolk.com