Synopsis from Goodreads:
Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable contribution in modern fiction: a new perspective of female life in biblical society. It is a vast and stirring work described as what the Bible might have been had it been written by God’s daughters instead of sons.
Far beyond the traditional women-of-the-Bible sagas in both impact and vigor, The Red Tent is based upon a mention in Genesis of Jacob’s only female offspring–his daughter, Dinah.
Author Anita Diamant, in the voice of Dinah, gives an insider’s look at the details of women’s lives in biblical times and a chronicle of their earthy stories and long-ignored histories. The red tent of the title is the place where women were sequestered during their cycles of birthing, menses, and illness. It is here that Dinah hears the whispered stories of her four mothers–Jacob’s wives Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah–and tells their tales to us in remarkable and thought-provoking oratories. Familiar passages from the Bible take on new life as Dinah fills in what the Bible has left out–the lives of women. Dinah tells us of her initiation into the religious and sexual practices of the tribe; Jacob’s courtship with Rachel and Leah; the ancient world of caravans, farmers, midwives, and slaves; her ill-fated sojourn in the city of Sechem; her years in Canaan; and her half-brother Joseph’s rise in Egypt.
Skillfully interweaving biblical tales with characters of her own invention, the author re-creates the life of Dinah providing an illuminating portrait of a courageous woman and the life she might have lived. A new view of the panorama of life in biblical times emerges from the female perspective, and the red tent itself becomes a symbol of womanly strength, love, and wisdom.
The Red Tent is one of those extremely rare publishing phenomenons–a little promoted, but dynamically successful book (over 250,000 copies sold) that owes its success to enthusiastic word-of-mouth endorsements. Now, for the first time, this sweeping saga, which has struck a chord with so many modern-day women, comes to life as a much-anticipated audiobook.
This book is amazing! I was hooked within chapters. I’m never going to look at a lot of the Old Testament the same way again! I loved how she told the story of her mothers which set everything up for her story. I never thought their lives were so different from the men’s. I had assumed that they worshiped the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The term ‘faith of our fathers’ has a whole new meaning now.
Dinah lived an amazing life. Being the only daughter of Jacob must have been interesting. Also having four mothers to care for her, share wisdom with, and just be there. She actually got to be with who she fell in love with.
When her son was describing his boss, (spoilers, highlight to read) I knew it was Joseph. I thought it was fun how they didn’t know each other. That reminds me. Her mother-in-law was a bitch! Taking her son away like that! Forbidding her to speak of her husband. I felt so sorry for Dinah.
Despite all of that, the only time I teared up was near the end. Judah giving her the ring was so sweet! She couldn’t blame them for not recognizing her. She hung back with the servants and made no effort to talk with them. Thank God for Judah. That one gesture from their mother was what she needed.
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
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