Tour Hashtag: #SinnersandtheSeaTour
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audio CD
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 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. 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.
To oversimplify, it is a tale told through the eyes of Noah's unnamed wife. She tells of her childhood when she was shunned as a'demon', so called due to a port wine stain on her forehead. She tells of the sacrifice her father made raising and caring for 'a demon child' as a single parent, and finally her life as a wife, woman and mother.
An unvarnished look at herself and others. Life in a sinful town, living with sinful individuals. The characters in this story seem real. Noah himself can only be described as angry and fanatical in his dealings with others for God. He would never admit it, but he feels superior to others because he is the one chosen to show others the way of God.
Noah and wife's children are very different individuals, as brothers are, with unique personalities. I can't say I truly 'liked' any of the boys. The townsfolk are far more interesting. They are a sinful lot who kill, pillage and destroy, however, some of them are more fascinating than Noah and his family.
When they finally get around to building the ark, the town residents constantly jeer and call them crazy. They constantly attempt to stop Noah from building.
My favorite part of this novel is the character development we see of Noah's wife. She who has no name grows as an individual, she strengthens and, in my opinion, has more moral fiber than Noah. We see the sins of everyone, even herself, through her eyes. She is a powerful woman with a quiet strength.
The book is slow moving, but definitely worth the wait. It must have been somewhat difficult to write, having very little information about Noah's wife from Biblical writings.
I must admit, I love the cover. Beautiful picture. Does she finally get a name? Just read and find out.
watch the book trailor https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=GvxcTs_xG-8
Praise for Sinners and the Sea
“Kanner animates a harsh, almost dystopic world of fallen people struggling to survive. Noah’s unnamed wife is a powerful, memorable character.” – Publisher’s Weekly
“[Noah's wife] proves her strength and character as she tries to protect her family… from the outside forces that threaten. Kanner successfully undertakes a formidable task retelling a familiar religious story through the eyes of Noah’s wife. The narrative’s well-articulated, evenly balanced and stimulating—but it’s definitely not the familiar tale that’s so frequently illustrated in children’s books” – Kirkus Reviews
“SINNERS AND THE SEA is a rare find–a bold and vivid journey to the antediluvian world of Noah. Kanner’s is a fresh, irresistible story about the unnamed woman behind the famous ark-builder. Compelling and masterfully written.” – Tosca Lee, NY Times bestelling author of HAVAH: THE STORY OF EVE.
“What a remarkable debut! Rebecca Kanner’s SINNERS AND THE SEA is a haunting, beautifully written story of struggle and redemption told through the eyes of the Biblical prophet Noah’s wife. Kanner pulls no punches: She gives us humanity in all its wickedness — bloodthirsty, greedy, cruel — and the horror and heartbreak the inhabitants of Noah’s ark might have felt as, unable to help, they listened to the screams of the dying and witnessed the utter obliteration of life on Earth. By the end of this book, I was in tears, for Kanner does lead us out of the valley of the shadow of death into a new world of promise and hope. SINNERS AND THE SEA is a profoundly moving tale, thrilling and fast-paced, and one of the best books I have read in a very long time.”- Sherry Jones, author, THE JEWEL OF MEDINA and FOUR SISTERS, ALL QUEENS
“Rebecca Kanner brings the antediluvian world of giants, prophets, and demons alive, setting her narrative in motion from the first chapter and never letting it rest. She is a writer of great dexterity, performing tricks at a full sprint.” – Marshall Klimasewiski, author of THE COTTAGERS and TYRANTS
“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 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.” – Rabbi Allen of Beth Jacob congregation in Mendota Heights, Minnesota. Honored by Forward newspaper as one of America’s “50 most significant Jewish leaders”
“We think we know Noah’s story but he was not alone on the ark; what was the experience of his wife, his family? Rebecca Kanner’s vividly imagined telling recreates the world of the bible, and asks powerful questions about the story and about ourselves.” – Rabbi David Wolpe, Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, named the most influential Rabbi in America by Newsweek Magazine (2012). Author of WHY FAITH MATTERS
“We sympathize with this unnamed woman because—as remote as her world seems to be from ours—she longs for all that we want for ourselves: to be known, loved, and accepted by her family, her community, and ultimately her God… After reading Sinners and the Sea, you’ll never look at the Biblical story of Noah and the flood in the same way again, and isn’t that Biblical fiction’s greatest purpose? To see the old stories with fresh eyes and perhaps find new meaning…” – Stephanie Landsem, author of THE WELL
“Rebecca Kanner has created an autobiography of Noah’s wife, and an imaginative one it is.” – American Jewish World
“[Kanner] gives an intelligent voice to Noah’s wife.” – Jewish Book Council
“First-time novelist Kanner has written an utterly absorbing novel, one that flows seamlessly.” – Historical Novel Society
“A fascinating look into a feral civilization of turmoil and hardship.” – Historical Novel Review
“A stirring, fascinating story written beautifully.” – Historical Fiction Connection
“Kanner beautifully evokes life on the claustrophobic, smelly vessel. Riveting… It will certainly spark hours of book club discussions.” – St. Paul Pioneer Press
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sinners and the Sea is Rebecca Kanner’s debut novel. Rebecca is a Twin Cities native and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from Washington University in St. Louis. Her writing has won an Associated Writing Programs Award, a Loft mentorship Award and a 2012/2013 Minnesota State Arts Board Grant. Her personal essay, “Safety,” is listed as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2011. Her stories have been published in numerous journals including The Kenyon Review and The Cincinnati Review.
Along with other authors including Anita Diamant, Michael Cunningham, Joyce Carol Oates, Russell Banks and Ron Hansen, Rebecca will be featured in the upcoming title Truthful Fictions: Conversations with American Biographical Novelists.
You can learn more about Rebecca, and find links to selected stories and essays, at www.rebeccakanner.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter
To enter to win one of 2 copies of Sinners and the Sea or a $25 Amazon Gift Card, please complete the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. Giveaway is open to US residents only.
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