Author: Rebecca Kanner
Publisher: Howard Books
ISBN: 978-1-4516-9525-0

My mark has brought me shame, humiliation, hatred, and, I realize, life. Each event that I had thought was a horrible consequence of being marked – the villagers calling for my blood and Noah coming to take me to the last town on earth I wanted to live in – was bringing me another step closer to salvation,” Noah’s wife ponders in Rebecca Kanner’s novel, Sinners and the Sea.

At three hundred and sixty-eight pages, this paperback targets readers that like Biblical stories from the Old Testament but its broad liberal fiction may concern those who know the Scriptures. With no profanity, an ample amount of bloodshed, lewdness, sexual innuendos, and cannibalism, it would not be apropos for immature readers.

Born with a noticeable mark above her left eye, a nineteen year old girl is shunned by everyone in her village, believing she is a “demon woman” who is blamed for anything negative. Protected from humiliation, she is given no name; she is simply called girl, woman, wife, or mother. 

Desiring a life with no shame or sorrow for his daughter, her father gives a man of the God of Adam approval to marry her. Although Noah is over four hundred years old and has poor eyesight, he insists on choosing her for her innocence, ignoring her birthmark.

When the seasoned man takes his young bride to wicked Sorum, a town of exiles and sinners, she witnesses crimes, sex trafficking, and physical abuse as her husband preaches forgiveness and redemption. Always keeping her facial mark hidden, she fears the townspeople will claim her evil too.

Time passes and she bares three sons: Shem wants to marry a whore while Ham’s wife “buys” passage on the ship and a slow-of-mind girl is arranged for Japeth. As Noah builds the huge boat among the growing multitudes of mockery and humiliation, the ark’s completion in seven moons (not one hundred years) has walking decks to view the sea below (God shut them in according to the Bible).

With the flood covering the earth, the story gets more fictional than Biblical when she deals with a Nephilim, witnesses a mammoth’s death, watches past acquaintances float by, and fights a boat of hungry, blood-thirsty men. 

Written in first person from a marred woman who learns about the Almighty God through her aloof but focused husband, this far-fetched debut novel travels well off course from the Biblical story that truly never names Noah’s wife or his daughters-in-law.

Thanks to Simon and Schuster for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinion.

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