cover image Sinners and the Sea

Sinners and the Sea

Rebecca Kanner. Howard,$24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4516-9523-6

Debut novelist Kanner brings to life the nameless wife of Noah in a deeply imagined midrashic interpretation of the biblical story of the flood. A girl is born with a mark on her forehead, likely a port wine birthmark, that all around her fear is the mark of a demon. No one wants to marry her until she is claimed as a bride by the 600-year-old Noah, a man who believes in the "God of Adam," wants sons, and wants to bring to God the wicked people of Sorum, a town populated by prostitutes and mercenaries. Noah and his growing family live in tension with Sorum's sinners, until the God of Adam commands the building of an ark and the gathering of animals onto it before it rains and rains. Though her pacing occasionally drags, Kanner animates a harsh, almost dystopic world of fallen people struggling to survive. Noah's unnamed wife is a powerful, memorable character. Agent: Carolyn Jenks, Carolyn Jenks Agency. (Apr.)