Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Sin-Eater's Confession - Ilsa J. Bick

Ben's senior year of high school was no cake walk.  He volunteers at the ER on weekends, taking university classes during the week, runs to stay in shape for track, and is under a lot of pressure from his mom to get into a really good college.  His dad, the police chief, is hard on him but not as much as his mom.  Toward the end of Ben's junior year, Del Lange the star quarter-back of the football team was killed in a head on collision after prom.  Ben was there in the hospital ER saw him die.  That summer Ben helps out Mr. Lange and his other son Jimmy on their farm.  Jimmy and Ben become like brothers over the summer.  When school starts up Ben only comes over a few times a week.  On the second Saturday in October Mr. Lange barges into the barn and tells Ben to never come back to the farm.  Jimmy submitted photos he took of various people to a photo magazine for a contest.  Jimmy won second place and one of the photos is of Ben laying on a bale of hay with his shirt off.  The picture is very suggestive and it is revealed that Jimmy is gay and has feelings for Ben.  Ben stays away from the Lange farm and doesn't have much contact with Jimmy at school.  A rumor starts around school that Ben is also gay, which his isn't.  Ben and his friends quell the rumor.  The next week Ben decides to go and talk to Jimmy at Cuppa Joy the local coffee place run by Pastor John.  Everyone gives him the evil eye when he comes in and Pastor John tells him to leave and take his sinful thoughts with him.  Jimmy meets Ben in the back and tells him he needs help submitting an application and photographs.  Ben says no to helping Jimmy.  The next day he wakes up around four pm and calls into the ER and then goes out driving that night.  Close to seven pm Ben decides to go and help Jimmy out.  As he pulls into the parking lot around back he sees Jimmy being taken away in a van.  Ben follows the van and then the people into the woods where he sees Jimmy murdered.  All Ben can do is run away and keep what he saw to himself.  A few days later Ben discovers Jimmy's body in the park.  He takes the memory card from Jimmy's phone and the memory card the pictures are on.  Ben then goes home and acts like he didn't see anything.  A few hours later Ben's dad gets a call saying the body of Jimmy has been found. 

This was a very good book and the story was well told.  I liked the reflective nature of it too.  We as humans question decisions all the time, and ask ourselves if anything could have been done differently.  Sometimes things can't be changed and we live with the consequences for the rest of our lives.  Other times amends can be made even if a few years have gone by.  Don't let the title and cover fool you.  I thought it was a zombie book when I first saw the title before I read the inside cover. 

T.B. 4/27/13

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