Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sinners and the Sea: The Untold Story of Noah's Wife” as Want to Read:
Sinners and the Sea: The Untold Story of Noah's Wife
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sinners and the Sea: The Untold Story of Noah's Wife

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  1,083 ratings  ·  263 reviews
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
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Howard Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sinners and the Sea, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sinners and the Sea

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,083 ratings  ·  263 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Sinners and the Sea: The Untold Story of Noah's Wife
Jacob Seifert
Dec 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
While some may describe this book as the story of Noah's ark from the perspective of his unnamed wife, using such a simple description would do Kanner's masterful tale a gross injustice. The story of Noah's ark is really only the background from which Kanner explores a number of weighty issues including faith, pride, jealousy, self/communal identity, and so many others with confidence and ease--often with profound and haunting results.

The characters of the novel are a true pleasure. While Noah
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
When I was asked to review this book I was excited about a Biblical fictional novel based on Noah's wife, that is partially what I read. Yes, Rebecca Kanner writes a vivid book about a woman who has no name that is given in marriage to Noah when he is 600 years old, the reason, she is of virtue, and her father has protected her because she has what we would call in our society a port of wine stain, or a birthmark. They believe it is a sign of a demon, this is why she has not been named.

Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

I'm going to come straight out and admit it. I picked up Rebecca Kanner's The Sinners and the Sea because I think the cover is absolutely gorgeous. I know, I'm horrible. Look up cover slut in the dictionary and you will find my picture. By rights I should be ashamed of myself, but you know what? I'm not. I'll grant my motivations were superficial, but had I not succumbed to them, I wouldn't have discovered this very original
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Buy this book! Ms. Kanner has written a masterful and enjoyable debut novel. Terrific dialogue. She presents pre-modern characters vividly. I kept thinking as I was reading, "just one more chapter."
Stephanie Landsem
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sinners and The Sea, the Untold Story of Noah’s Wife starts with a fascinating premise—the story of a woman who wasn’t even named in the Bible, but became the mother of all generations after the great flood—and it does not disappoint.

It is the story of an unnamed woman from a harsh world, a world that is primitive and superstitious, where differences – like the red mark on her forehead – are met with distrust and violence, where a father must marry his beloved daughter to an ancient man before
Lisa Johnson
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Title: Sinners and the Sea: The Untold Story of Noah’s Wife
Author: Rebecca Kanner
Pages: 352
Year: 2013
Publisher: Howard
Everyone comes to a book with a set of expectations, whether it is one of hope or longing or something totally different. So when we begin reading, we are doing so looking for something. Whether it is to be entertained, to learn or a host of other possibilities, we are actively choosing to open the book to start the journey. I know that when I approached Sinner and the Sea, it w
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 t ...more
Victor Gentile
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Rebecca Kanner in her new book, “Sinners And The Sea” published by Howard Books takes us into the life of Noah’s wife.

From the Inside Jacket Cover: 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 m
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There are Old Testament stories we know so well—the fall of Adam and Eve, the trials and tribulations of Job, the battle between David and Goliath. And of course, Noah and the flood.

The Bible tells us the world was full of sin and that Noah was commanded to build a giant ark before the destructive rains fell. But what of the others with Noah? What about his sons? His wife? What of the days before the flood?

Rebecca Kanner applies her imagination to her debut book, "The Sinners and the Sea." This
Marie Parsons
Jan 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Sinners and the Sea is the story of Noah's wife, through her own voice. Whether or not one believes the literal truth of the flood story, one might ponder how Noah met his wife, what their relationships might have been with the sons she eventually bore, and their wives--and more so, from whence did Noah's wife even come? What was her life like before Noah and the flood?

In the Bible, Noah's wife has no name, and no story. She surely must have been an interesting woman in her own right. Kanner
Genevieve Graham
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
You know how everyone knows who Noah is, but we never hear about his wife? That’s because (according to this book, and who am I to argue?) she had no name. Her father never named her because she was born with a large facial birthmark that many called a demon mark. By keeping the girl nameless, he hoped to prevent people in her bloodlusting village from abusing her by name. This quiet, terrified girl, repulsed by so many, is one day given as a virtuous, submissive wife to a crazy, 500-year-old re ...more
Valerie Urban
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So beautifully written! Extremely intense and suspenseful considering we all know pretty much what happens. I really felt THERE on the ark, gasping for breath and spitting out water and shoveling dung. The characters and their relationships are so vivid and true - they grow, we love them or hate them, sometimes both. Very moving and satisfying ending. Can't wait for the author's next book!
Oct 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Kanner thoughtfully explores the delicate space between right and wrong in this complex and gorgeous novel that is at once magical, heartbreaking, and inspiring. Definitely a must read!
Apr 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Well...having just finished this book I can definitely attest to the fact that this is one that lingers with the reader. Finishing it in the middle of the night is also quite an interesting feeling because this is the after effects that I am left with. This dark strange dark night memory of a land before time as we know it. Everyone knows the Biblical story of Noah and the Ark. We almost breeze past it in Bible study for its familiarity. It's remade into soft children's tales with colorful smili ...more
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: historical fiction enthusiasts, women's literature enthusiasts
Recommended to Sheila by: I know the author so I have been following the excitement of its publication.
I received this book in a Goodreads First-Reads promotion. Also, I happen to be friends with the author, which apparently didn't help with my selection to receive a copy of her book. I think she was as excited as I was when she saw her publsher's list of awardees about the same time that I found out.

That being said, I have no hesitation in writing this review and recommending her book. I also have no hesitation in giving it 5/5 stars; it is a well-written story with engaging characters and int
Jan 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am a big fan of Biblical fiction. There are so many fascinating tales to be further fleshed out from the stories in the Bible. In Sinners and the Sea Noah's story is told but from the perspective of his wife, a woman who remains unnamed. How sad is that - to go down in history without a name?

She was born with a "mark" what I guess we would call a port wine stain now. But in times less informed any difference from what was normal was considered the mark of the devil. Abandoned by her mother and
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
I loved the cover for this book, so I thought I would give it a try. I am really happy to report that the cover did not lie. This is a passionately written novel. The opportunity to look through the eyes of the main character at the world of that time was like nothing I have experienced.

As a young woman with an unfortunate birth mark, the main character was dubbed "Demon Woman" by those in her homeland. She grew up under the protection of her father, and when a traveler, Noah, agreed to marry h
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sinners and the Sea by Rebecca Kanner is a comparable read to The Red Tent By Anita Diamant. A great read! You will not want to put this one down until you have finished

The author's portrait of this ancient land and its people invites you to experience the hopelessness and daily struggle for survival in a land suffering from drought, famine and soullessness. But more than this portrait of an ancient time and the story of Noah and his Ark, it is a portrait of the women, those women without names
John Weeks
May 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
While most Biblically-inspired fiction mines the passages of the New Testament’s final book, Rebecca Kanner refreshingly draws from the first book of the Old Testament. Much like Game of Thrones has Winter, Sinners and the Sea has the Flood. And the dark waters are rising.

Our heroine, the unnamed wife of the notorious Noah, narrates the harrowing story of her journey from Egypt to Eschaton and beyond. Kanner’s technical brilliance is on full display as she unpacks a dark and beautiful epic from
Sheyna Galyan
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Rebecca Kanner writes with wonderful prose that stays with you after the book has been set down. Her characters are vividly brought to life and, while I'm normally not a fan of books written in present tense, it works in this story. I love that you are WITH Noah's family on the ark. And I love that the lack of a name is a theme that persists to the very end. I can see some of the parts of this story (especially Herai!) seeming so real that one might wonder if it really was in the original biblic ...more
Erika Dreifus
I'm filled with admiration for the achievement of this book. I will have more to say about it soon (I hope!). Meantime, I'm grateful to have received a complimentary advance copy.

UPDATE, 4/22: Please see my Q&A with author Rebecca Kanner:
Alyssa Maizan
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My friend Rebecca, aka Bex, wrote this book and it's really, really good! Putting aside my bias, this book is very well-written and a compelling read. I kept turning the pages, eager to find out what happened next with our heroine. One of my favorite parts of the story were how supportive the female characters were of one another. I think this would be a great book club book. Highly recommend!
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
Awesome. The language even sounds Biblical, like a novel picked off the dusty upper shelves in the back room of a used book store. And that's a good thing.
Brian Melendez
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
There are several women in the Bible who play key roles at pivotal points, but remain unnamed and voiceless — perhaps none more important than Noah’s wife, who becomes the ancestor of all humanity that has lived after the Flood, but who is known in scripture only as her husband’s wife and her sons’ mother. Rebecca Kanner has taken this blank canvas and given Noah’s wife a story and a voice.

Of course, the canvas isn’t really blank: the story of Noah and the Flood is universally familiar. The ment
Nancy Narma
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
“A Prize-Winner That Holds You in its Grips”

If you thought you knew all there was to know about Noah and his family—think again! Once you start reading this magnificent novel, it will hold you in its grips and never let you go until you’ve finished the last page. Most of us are familiar with the age-old story of Noah and the Ark God commanded him to build, but a very significant, yet forgotten person in this event was his Wife—a strong-willed, courageous, level-headed soul with no name and a bir
Story Circle Book Reviews
Jul 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
"I didn't mean to write a novel about Noah's wife," Rebecca Kanner said when asked about her motivation for writing Sinners and the Sea. "But just a few pages into what I thought would be a short story I realized I didn't want to stop. A 500-year-old man that everyone thinks is crazy, a host of vulgar sinners, a world on the verge of destruction... For me, this material was irresistible."

Noah's unnamed wife is a woman seeking personal fulfillment and struggling with the suspicions aroused by the
Sharon Chance
May 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This novel captured my attention from the first paragraph! Much has been written about Noah and his sons, especially lately with the film "Noah" coming out, but little is known about the woman behind the man, Noah's nameless wife.

Author Rebecca Kanner brings this woman to life in a vibrant and fascinating story that gives readers a little better idea of what a woman of her status and circumstances would have gone through. "Wife" or "Mother," as she was known" was a woman of much courage as she
Apr 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is my first book that I have read by this author. When I had the chance to review this book, I jumped at the opportunity as I was curious to read the "untold" story of Noah's wife. Everyone who is familiar with the Bible knows who Noah is and if they were not thanks to the new movie featuring Russell Crowe as Noah, they soon will be familiar with Noah. Although, I myself would rather stick with reading the Bible to learn the true story of Noah. Not that I have seen the movie.

Well anyways,
Larissa Christiansen
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Kanner takes on the task of re-telling a story even the non-religious know the outcome of, however, not a page goes by that you do not anxiously flip to see what is coming next.

Do not let its connection to religion sway you from enjoying this book. Whether you are a believer or non-believer, this novel connects us all to our most human of traits and emotions... innocence, betrayal, love, hate, jealousy, hope, right, wrong, morality, mortality, pleasure, pain, faith both discovered and lost. Lik
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am giving this book 5 stars because it really made me think! It gave me a new perspective on Noah,his wife,family and times back then! Although all in this book is made up, it definitely gave me a new respect for people that lived back then! I loved the way the author wrote this book where it would tell you what is going on but not give in to details we didn't want! I enjoyed this book greatly and would recommend it to anyone!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The sons 2 6 Aug 26, 2014 07:44PM  
Story of Noah's wife 5 14 Jun 03, 2014 03:25PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Prophet (Books of the Infinite, #1)
  • Mirror Mirror
  • Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol
  • The Girl from the Savoy
  • The Unbreakables
  • The Happy Camper
  • Keturah (The Sugar Baron's Daughters, #1)
  • The Hidden Flame (Acts of Faith, #2)
  • The Heart of a King (The Loves of King Solomon #1-4)
  • What It Seems
  • President George W. Bush: Our Forty-third President
  • A Novel Murder (Secrets of the Castleton Manor Library, #1)
  • Something She's Not Telling Us
  • Own Your Everyday:  Overcome the Pressure to Prove and Show Up for What You're Made to Do
  • When We Were Brave
  • A Theatre for Dreamers
  • The Book of Koli (Rampart Trilogy, #1)
  • Huckleberry Lake (Mystic Creek #6)
See similar books…
Rebecca Kanner holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Fiction Writing from Washington University in St. Louis. Her writing has won an Associated Writing Programs Award, a Loft Mentorship Award and 2013 and 2016 Minnesota State Arts Board Grants. Her stories have been published in numerous journals including The Kenyon Review and The Cincinnati Review. Her personal essay, "Safety," is a Notable Essa ...more

News & Interviews

  Let your voice be heard! We need your help selecting the best books of the year during the 2020 Goodreads Choice Awards, our 12th annual...
22 likes · 14 comments