Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Red Tent: review

by Anita Diamant

The red tent is the place where women gathered during their cycles of birthing, menses, and even illness. Like the conversations and mysteries held within this feminine tent, this sweeping piece of fiction offers an insider's look at the daily life of a biblical sorority of mothers and wives and their one and only daughter, Dinah. Told in the voice of Jacob's daughter Dinah (who only received a glimpse of recognition in the Book of Genesis), we are privy to the fascinating feminine characters who bled within the red tent. In a confiding and poetic voice, Dinah whispers stories of her four mothers, Rachel, Leah, Zilpah, and Bilhah--all wives to Jacob, and each one embodying unique feminine traits. As she reveals these sensual and emotionally charged stories we learn of birthing miracles, slaves, artisans, household gods, and sisterhood secrets. Eventually Dinah delves into her own saga of betrayals, grief, and a call to midwifery.

"Like any sisters who live together and share a husband, my mother and aunties spun a sticky web of loyalties and grudges," Anita Diamant writes in the voice of Dinah. "They traded secrets like bracelets, and these were handed down to me the only surviving girl. They told me things I was too young to hear. They held my face between their hands and made me swear to remember."

A compelling story unlike any I have read before! But, yes there is a but... I can see this book being a hint or miss with some. Although I found it to be compelling, there were parts of the book where I had to fight to not put it down. I think it is one of those books where you either love it or hate it!

I am giving The Red Tent, gosh this is hard.... 3 stars( this book made me wish I gave out half stars), and it falls into these reading challenges...

Until next time...
Happy Reading!

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