The Red Tent – Review

A friend of mine once named The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant, as one of her favorite books of all time. So of course I was very excited to learn that she convinced the Lit Ladies Book Club to make it the June selection.

What a powerful and wonderful story for women to read. Diamant takes the life story of Dinah, the daughter barely mentioned in the story of the Bible’s Jacob, and tells it from Dinah’s perspective. Though it is a work of historical fiction, the insights and details uncover the humanity and truth of a woman’s life so long ago.  Many say that it fills in the gaps left by the biblical text and gives women a much needed piece of biblical history.  All I know, is that I loved it.  I felt reassured by the bond between the women and their strength and intelligence in times when men seemed to control it all. Dinah lives, loves, suffers, heals and finds a beautiful peace.  The story moves the mind and heart.

I loved how the women knew their worth as “life givers” and embraced it fully.  The literal red tents of the time were a place for women to gather during menses and birth and illness without the presence of men.  They rested and shared stories and sang songs. An interesting note is that after giving birth to a boy, the mother stayed in the tent for one month. After a girl birth, the mother stayed for two months. Some would say that is because girl babies made the mother “unclean.”   A better theory, in the spirit of this story, is that giving birth to a birth-giver was more sacred and the extra month was a reward.

Many thanks to my girlfriend for introducing me to The Red Tent.  The story was a wonderful gift that I hope to share and pass on to all of my women friends.

This entry was posted on Saturday, July 3rd, 2010 at 11:16 am and is filed under Book Review. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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