This reading group guide for Sinners and the Sea includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Rebecca Kanner. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
Introduction Sinners and the Sea
recounts the familiar biblical story of Noah and his ark—but this time, the story is told from the perspective of his often forgotten wife. The narrator, who remains nameless until the last page of the novel, struggles to understand her purpose and worth in a world that condemns her because of a prominent birthmark on her forehead. After years of misery and hardship, her father is finally able to marry her off to Noah, a 600-year-old prophet who praises only one God and who has foretold the imminent end of the world. Poignantly written, Sinners and the Sea examines the complexities between right and wrong and calls into question the very idea of righteousness. Topics & Questions for Discussion
1.The novel opens with the narrator describing her birthmark: “they say it is the mark of a demon…it looks as if a large man dipped his palm in wine and pressed it to my forehead above my left eye” (10). In what way or ways does this description immed