Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sinners and the Sea by Rebecca Kanner

In the spirit of Anita Diamant, this ambitious and unforgettable novel about the story of Noah blends Biblical history, mythology, and the inimitable strength of women.

Cursed with a birthmark that many think is the brand of a demon, the young heroine in The Sinners and the Sea is deprived even of a name for fear that it would make it easier for people to spread lies about her. But this virtuous woman has the perfect voice to make one of the Old Testament’s stories live anew.

Desperate to keep her safe, the woman’s father gives her to the righteous Noah, who weds her and takes her to the town of Sorum, a land of outcasts. Noah, a 600-year-old paragon of virtue, rises to the role of preacher to a town full of sinners. Alone in her new life, Noah’s wife gives him three sons, but is faced with the hardship of living with an aloof husband who speaks more to God than with her. She tries to make friends with the violent and dissolute people of Sorum while raising a brood that, despite a pious upbringing, have developed some sinful tendencies of their own. But her trials are nothing compared to what awaits her after God tells her husband that a flood is coming—and that Noah and his family must build an ark so that they alone can repopulate the world.

Kanner weaves a masterful tale that breathes new life into one of the Bible’s voiceless characters. Through the eyes of Noah’s wife we see a complex world where the lines between righteousness and wickedness blur. And we are left wondering: Would I have been considered virtuous enough to save?

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Howard Books 
(my copy provided by netgalley for honest review) 
(HC copy from personal library, I love the cover so much)

Rebecca Kanner started this book off by painting a picture of this little nameless girl. Born with a birthmark which everyone referred to as the devils mark, she is an outcast and to name her would be to draw attention.  I think the mother in me felt protective of her and had me inhaling this book.  I liked the authors writing style, at times it wasn't as smooth flowing, but not enough to take away from the story.

This is a fictional account of the famous Noah and the Ark story.  Taking place in Sorum, a place of utter depravity and violence, Noah wants to save the inhabitants, he gets himself a wife with the goal of sons to continue his legacy.   A very engrossing story that was not at all how I pictured this time period. Beginning before he was commanded to build the ark this story was an interesting take on 'what could a happened'. 

Is it Bibically correct? I have my doubts. The Bible does not expound on what actually was happening on the earth to make Him want to destroy everyone, but it must have been something rather dreadful. Told from the POV of Noah's wife she gave fascinating side to Noah and their 3 sons.

The cover is absolutely gorgeous and that is what drew me to this book in the first place, then I read the synopsis and was intrigued.

This book will appeal to those that like storys told from the POV of lesser known individuals.

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