The Sinners and the Sea: The Untold Story of Noah's Wife by Rebecca Kanner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Even the most challenged in knowledge of biblical history such as myself have heard the story of Noah’s Ark, but Rebecca Kanner takes the story much deeper by imagining the actual personalities of Noah and the sons who are typically mentioned only in brief, and introducing us to the wife who, until now, we have been left to wonder about her actual existence.
Told through the eyes of Noah’s wife, left unnamed by her family due to a birthmark on her face that was considered by the people of that time to mean her marked by a demon, she lets us join her life from her scorned childhood through the aftermath of the flood. The hardship of life in biblical times is not glossed over, and each and every character is portrayed with a strong sense of self and purpose. Noah comes across as brash, the sons all unique in their personalities ranging from loving and caring to methodical and brutish and “Wife”/”Mother”, as she is called in absence of a name, is entirely honest about all of it. There were several times that I very much disliked some of the characters, but I always still cared for them because they seemed truly human.
The biggest downfall to this book though is unfortunately the beginning and first impression. The story starts out much too slowly, as though Kanner had not found the rhythm yet. It also came across as quite preachy - I doubt this was her intention, but my earliest impression was unfortunately to wonder whether this book I thought would be along the genre lines of The Red Tent was actually a Christian novel. I mean not disrespect to the genre of Christian novels, but it is not my preference and was not what I expected when I picked up the book. Chance was on my side though, and in an unexpected spare 15 minutes I decided to give it one last chance to catch my attention and that little amount of time took me just far enough.
But please don’t be dissuaded by the roughish start, it is definitely a worthy read!
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