Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
2007, St. Martin's Press

Synopsis: 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 sustain her through a hard-working 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 connection with the past. Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of biblical women's society.

The Good: The Red Tent blew me away. I actively avoid religiously themed books and I don't have an overwhelming love of historical fiction. That said, The Red Tent amazed me in ways I couldn't have imagined. It mesmerized me. The woman-centric storyline drew me in and made me look at things in a new light. You don't have to be religious to enjoy this book (believe me). When read as a purely fictional novel set in the past with feminist overtones, it's one hell of a good read.

The Bad: Not a thing.

No comments :

Post a Comment