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The Red Tent Paperback – 24 Aug 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; New edition edition (24 Aug 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0333906470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333906477
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (198 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 532,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Anita Diamant's The Red Tent is an epic celebration of womanhood, written for women everywhere, regardless of their status, creed or colour. It is the story of a woman whose life was blessed by great love and torn by tragedy, of the lessons she learned through her own experiences and those of the women, and men, whose lives she touched. Diamant has chosen as her leading lady a woman whose name alone conjures up echoes of mystery, passion and betrayal. The Red Tent is the fictional tale of Dinah, whose life, like the majority of women in the Old Testament, merits only a passing mention. It is the men in Dinah¹s life that history has remembered: her famous father Jacob, his dozen sons and especially her brother, Joseph and his technicolour dreamcoat. Not religious? Don' t worry, this biblical character and the story Anita Diamant has woven from the merest hints, will appeal to all.

Strangely, even though Dinah lived her life several thousand years ago in a culture far removed from almost all of the women who will read this book, her story is as relevant and fresh as any written in recent years. This novel is as compelling for its female take on the grand themes that transcend time--birth, death, love, hate, betrayal and forgiveness­-as it is for its meticulously researched and hugely fascinating picture of everyday life as an early Jewish woman. The book's title refers to the tent where the women retired each month to pass their menstruation, and the descriptions of their time spent celebrating this fundamental rite of womanhood, and other daily customs make this a most original and inspiring book. In an age when gender and family traditions are becoming more and more diluted, The Red Tent honours women and their many and varied roles in life. Carey Green

Review

'Diamant is a wonderful storyteller, not only bringing to life these women about whom the Bible tells us so little but also stirringly evoking a place and time' - BOOKLIST 'I genuinely fell into this rich and colourful world and Dinah and Leah have stayed with me as ancestors and sisters brought to life by Anita Diamant's imaginative novel' - Maureen Lipman

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 73 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Sep 2001
Format: Paperback
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant is an account of the Old Testament story of Jacob and Esau. The story is written from the female perspective and it gives an insight into the life of women during biblical times as not seen before; daily life, life inside the Red Tent at the new moon and the upbringing of children. Running alongside this is a wonderful story which keeps the reader riveted. I would recommend this book to all.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful By "rutta" on 23 Mar 2003
Format: Paperback
'The Red Tent' derives its narrative from the Old Testament story of Dina, the archetypal rape victim whose misfortune triggered the downfall of her family's patriarchal dynasty. From this rather depressing misogamist myth Anita Diamant writes a compelling and genuinely touching love story.
When I first picked this book up I expected an intense and intellectual trawl through biblical history. This was never the case and I was absorbed from the outset. Diamant uses history to engross her reader, the incredible marriage of Jacob to four sisters and the resulting jealousies and trials such a domestic set-up would create are recounted tenderly and plausibly, there is something soothingly voyeuristic amidst the difficult relationships between the women and their one husband.
I particularly loved the narrative surrounding the red tent itself, the home of the menstruating women of the tribe - how wonderful to remember such a time when women were so in tune with each other that they bled together every full moon. And paralleled with the patriachal leadership of the age Diamant creates an intruguing world of male leadership subserviant to the wonders of women, their bodies, their births and their secrets. I lost count of the number of births in this novel, but was again fascinated by the insight provided into the skills and reverence of midwifery.
In 'The Red Tent' Diamant defies the testament story of Dina's rape, instead revealing her relationship as a seductive and wonderful courtship destroyed from the outside by feuding brothers and an overly proud father. A brave incision into a male dominated history and religion.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By DubaiReader TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 July 2005
Format: Paperback
A truly excellent read. Late nights and weary days, as I could not resist the temptation to read "just a little further".
I originally chose this book because it features so often on lists of books recommended for discussion at book groups.
A novel based on real characters who lived in a biblical period of history, it interweaves fiction and known fact.
Life styles and personalities are conjoured up with such conviction that the reader becomes Dinah, the central character, and lives her life with her.
My book group subsequently read this book and endorsed my enthusiasm. I would have given it 6 stars if I could!
If you enjoyed this book I would recommend Sarah Dunnant's The Birth of Venus : a very different historical novel, but also impossible to put down!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Aug 2002
Format: Paperback
At last, a seemingly well researched, well thought out novel. An amazing book which is written in a style that can almost be described as a 'stream of consciousness' in parts. I really really enjoyed reading about Dinah and her mothers. Ms Diamant really filled out the female role in biblical times. It was facinating.
The cruelty, joy and sisterhood experienced by the female characters was interesting to explore. It is the type of book you think about long after reading, taking time to digest what you have learned. I disagree with a previous review that 'its all about having babies and childbirth'. These were different times and Ms Diamant was trying to show the role of the women in these times for what they were. Unfortunatley, it was not as liberated as we now experience. I was fascinated. I really recommended this book. It is not always easy reading but it you feel like you have been there and back. By the way, in this instance you may judge a book by its cover! The cover is really indicative of the story. It sets the scene perfectly.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By E. Foley on 19 Feb 2003
Format: Paperback
This has all the hallmarks of a great novel - plently of interesting characters, a great story, and most of all, it makes you look at the world differently. Don't be turned off by the 'biblical' side - it is a good read that you will want to return to again and again. It tells the story of a minor character in the bible, describing in detail the lives of women at that time. It really is a book about women, men feature as minor parts, and it deals with all aspects of womanhood. You will never see the bible in the same way again, whether you are a believer or not. You cannot miss this great novel. I just wish she had already written a dozen more.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Susannah on 12 Jan 2009
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed the first half of this book, i found it lyrical and beautiful in the way it conjured up a very real sense of the past. It is a fascinating subject and I couldnt stop myself reading it.
Unfortunately, at the dramatic turning point in the novel I found myself questioning the author, as the narrative became unconvinciing with little attempt at giving the characters convincing motivation. The rest of the book drifts along becoming gradually less and less interesting. Perhaps this reflects the viewpoint of the lead character but it was very frustrating for me as a reader and left me feeling the author had hurried over parts of the book.
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