Sinful Folk by Ned Hayes, Nikki McClure

A tragic loss. A desperate journey. A mother seeks the truth. An epic story "artfully told by a master storyteller" - Brenda Vantrease, New York Times bestselling author

Sinful folk

"A pilgrim tale worthy of Chaucer, evocative, compelling ... artfully delivered by a master storyteller." -- Brenda Vantrease, New York Times bestselling author 

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. 

Nominated for the "Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award" and favorably reviewed by bestselling historical writers Karen Maitland, Brenda Vantrease, Kathryn Le Veque, and Ella March Chase.

Genre: FICTION / Historical

Secondary Genre: FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Historical

Language: English

Keywords: historical, medieval, mystery, middle ages

Word Count: 110,000

Sales info:

SINFUL FOLK has been a #1 bestseller in Historical Fiction on Amazon, a #2 bestseller in Historical Mystery on Amazon, a #2 bestseller on Kobo in Historical Fiction and has ranked in the top 10 on Barnes & Noble rankings as well. On Amazon alone, the book quickly received over 100 reviews, and is consistently rated at 4.5 stars or higher. 

SINFUL FOLK was a Semi-Finalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards (top remaining 100 books) and after publication by Campanile Books with a cover by NY Times bestselling author/illustrator Nikki McClure, the book sold 1000s of copies and was nominated by readers for the "Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award" in 2014.

The book received notable print reviews from Historical Novel Society Reviews, BOOKLIST and other well-regarded reviewers in the field, including Kathryn Le Veque (USA Today bestselling author), Brenda Vantrease (NY Times bestselling author), Karen Maitland (international bestselling author), and William Dietrich (NY Times bestselling author).

Additional reviews here. 

The book has been listed by various bookstores as a top 10 recommended book in the genre, and is available in English in 6 different editions, and has gone through multiple print runs in English. 

Sample text:

In the end, I listen to my fear. It keeps me awake, resounding through the frantic beating in my breast. It is there in the dry terror in my throat, in the pricking of the rats’ nervous feet in the darkness.

Christian has not come home all the night long.

I know, for I have lain in this darkness for hours now with my eyes stretched wide, yearning for my son’s return.

Each night that he works late, I cannot sleep. I am tormented when he is not here—I fear that he will never return. I lie awake, plagued by my own fears of loss and loneliness.

But my fears have never come to pass.

So on this night, I tell myself that the sound I hear is frost crack- ing, river ice breaking. I lie to my own heart, as one lies to a fright- ened child, one who cannot be saved.

All the while, I know it is a fire. And I know how near it is. First, I could hear shouts and cries. Then there was the sound of rapid running, of men hauling buckets of water and ordering children to help.

A house burns.

Yet always I fear to venture forth, for my fright has grown into a panic that gibbers in the dark. What if someone started this fire to burn me out?

What sport would they have, watching a mute moan as she turns on the spit?

A crackle and hiss in the distance. A heavy thud, and then the roar of an inferno. Where is Christian? I must go, I—

Scrambling out of the straw, I rush to the door in my night- clothes. Then I remember poor Nell, who died last spring.

I do not forget her agony.

I blunder in the darkness, fumbling for the fireplace soot. I smear the smooth edge of my jaw, marking with trembling fingers a hint of beard on my soft upper lip and my chin.

Always, I must hide my true face.

As my fingers work, I grip hope to me, a small bird quaking in the nest of my heart. 



Book translation status:

The book is available for translation into any language except those listed below:

Already translated. Translated by Jaja Huizing
Already translated. Translated by Angélique M.
Already translated. Translated by Ute Hütten
Author review:
Great thinking and great work on this translation. Thank you!
Already translated. Translated by Debora Serrentino
Translation in progress. Translated by Maria Regina de Almeida Barbuto and Wélida Cristina de Souza Muniz

Would you like to translate this book? Make an offer to the Rights Holder!