Book Review: The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

12 Dec

The Red TentMy Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars

This historical fiction is narrated by Dinah, daughter of Jacob .  As in the Jacob, brother of Esau, son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham.   She tells of her life as a young girl growing up in Mesopotamia amongst her father’s small tribe of wives and children.  The red tent is, literally, the place where the women go each month to bleed and ‘celebrate’ their womanhood.  As a child she saw the red tent as a mysterious almost heavenly experience.  Upon entering womanhood herself she became indoctrinated in the ways of a biblical woman and soon after enters wifehood, at which point her life takes a very grave and violent detour.  The novel follows her throughout her life up to her death in Egypt as a famous midwife. 

This book is pretty fast paced (I had to write down the names of the family members which added a bit of time for me) and the writing is solid.  It’s a great way to learn about the actual history and logistics depicted in pieces in the bible.  

I loved how being a girl during these times meant a lot of hard work and a lot of hardships, yet these women respected themselves and their womanhood like they were royalty though they were quite often treated like slaves.  They had this “Behind every great man…” attitude. This book was pretty emotional for me, especially as a woman, wife and mother.

I typically don’t like chick lit, but this is chick lit in a different sense.  There is a LOT of discussion about menses, child-birth, etc.  If you are not fully comfortable with these topics in their most descriptive, I suggest you not read this book.  But if you are, then this is a great ‘girl power’ book!

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