Author Ned Hayes’s novel ‘Sinful Folk’ is a wonderful concoction of a fictional tale based on a nonfiction premise. In 1377 England, in a little village called the Duns; four young men were burned to death in a hut fire. Illiterate and superstitious villagers were quick to put the blame on Jews and a group of them decides to set out to meet their King in London to seek justice for these deaths. And among this group of men is Miriam, a former nun who has been living amongst the villagers pretending to be a mute man. On this journey you will come to know the secrets of her former life and the mystery behind the fire in the village.
There’s something about outcasts and outsiders that appeal to the basic raw emotion in us, on one hand thanking our luck that we didn’t have to go through their fate and on the other, empathizing deeply with their situation. The barren white landscape of ‘Sinful Folk’ suits the bleak mood of the setting and the emotions that the characters go through. And like any literal or metaphorical journeys that we all undertake at some point or the another, the journey these villagers undertake also reveal many truths and old secrets that come tumbling out one after the other. It has a nicely crafted and more importantly an original story that has also been well researched; the dialogues and the language is spot on and it shows the level of author’s commitment to his craft. The writing also ensures that you will deeply connect with and feel Mear’s heartbreak and her pain in losing her only son and then having to learn the truth behind it. The wonderfully illustrated images compliment the story really well and are in fact a visual representation of the words authored by Ned Hayes and introduces to us the people and world he has envisioned and created.
‘Sinful Folk’ is a prime example that you don’t need to like dark images in order to like dark brooding scenes, and that you don’t need to be gloomy or sad to read a book filled with melancholy. The innocence in the story and the spirit of ingenuity in the narration is what make this book just brilliant.
Print Length: 362 pages
Publisher: Campanile Books (January 13, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.