Dimensions: 352 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.2 in
Published: February 6, 2014
Publisher: Howard Books
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1451695233
ISBN - 13: 9781451695236
About the Book
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 some think demonic, the young woman's father gives her to the righteous Noah, who weds her and takes her to a land of outcasts.
Read from the Book
Sinners and the Sea CHAPTER 1 A MARKED AND NAMELESS GIRL They say it is the mark of a demon. When I was a child, none took their chances by coming close to me, and certainly no one touched me. It looks as if a large man dipped his palm in wine and pressed it to my forehead above my left eye. After I was born, the midwife seized the afterbirth and rubbed it over the mark. Then the afterbirth was buried, so that when it decayed, the mark would disappear too. But the mark grew darker. By my second year it had gone from red to purple. My father tried every known remedy. He anointed it daily with olive oil, rubbed it with a sheep’s hoof, even offered the gods the smallest finger on his left hand to take it away. But the gods did not accept his finger. They dulled the heat of the fire he set to send it up to them so that it only smoked and did not burn. He had not named me for fear it would be too easy then for people to talk and spread lies, and he was glad of this when the gods would not hear his plea. There was not another tent within fifty cubits of my father’s. So as not to catch my affliction through their gazes, when people hurried past to catch an errant sheep or child, they looked at me out of the corner of one eye or not at all. Once a man four tents away chased his goat to only a few cubits from my father’s land, then stopped suddenly when he saw me at the cookfire and ran back in the direction he had come. The goat was never seen again. It was thought
From the Publisher
The young heroine in Sinners and the Sea is destined for greatness. Known only as “wife” in the Bible and cursed with a birthmark that many think is the brand of a demon, this unnamed woman—fated to become the mother of all generations after the great flood—lives anew through Rebecca Kanner. The author gives this virtuous woman the perfect voice to make one of the Old Testament’s stories come alive like never before.
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 haven for outcasts. Alone in her new life, Noah’s wife gives him three sons. But living in this wicked and perverse town with an aloof husband who speaks more to God than to her takes its toll. Noah’s wife struggles to know her own identity and value. She tries to make friends with the violent and dissolute people of Sorum while raising a brood that, despite its pious upbringing, develops some sinful tendencies of its own. While Noah carries out the Lord’s commands, she tries to hide her mark and her shame as she weathers the scorn and taunts of the townspeople.
But these 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. As the floodwaters draw near, she grows in courage and honor, and when the water finally recedes, she emerges whole, displaying once and for all the indomitable strength of women. Drawing on the biblical narrative and Jewish mythology, Sinners and the Sea is a beautifully written account of the antediluvian world told in cinematic detail.
“Sinners and the Sea is an excellent example of the traditional Jewish method of Midrash meeting the modern writer’s pen. Kanner does a masterful job of penetrating the depths of the Biblical Flood narrative and weaving in the complicated reality of challenging relationships and longings for personal fulfillment. Her desire to go beyond the traditional midrashic understanding of the lives she explores introduces us to a courageous and insightful young writer whose first book will take its place alongside other exciting modern re-readings of the ancient Biblical text.”