Title: The Red Tent
Author: Anita Diamant
Genre: Historical Fiction/Religious
Age Range: Adult
Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that are about her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons.
Told in Dinah's voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood-the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of her mothers-Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah-the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that are to sustain her through a damaged youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah's story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate, immediate connection.
Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of Biblical women's society.
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This story really captured me. Partly because it was based on a real person, but also because of the way the writer wrote it.
I think a gifted writer is one who makes you feel as if you are there, in the story. This author is a gifted writer. I could feel the heat and the sand, and I could smell the food. Her imagery was amazing. I could see the lay of the land, and also the small details. I could also see and feel what her characters were seeing and feeling. I loved that.
To me, one slight drawback were aspects of the plot. The story itself was interesting, though at times I wondered why the author took the story where she did. But back then, I suppose passing tales from person to person would mean the accuracy wouldn't always be there. Also, I wanted it to end happily for Jacob's family, but who really knows?
You gotta hand it to this author--tackling a Bible story. The Bible has some crazy stuff in it!
Note: This book does deal with monthly cycles and marriage/honeymoon type stuff.