- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Pan; Reprints edition (8 Mar. 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0330487965
- ISBN-13: 978-0330487962
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (305 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Red Tent Paperback – 8 Mar 2002
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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 that 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." Remembering women's earthy stories and passionate history is indeed the theme of this magnificent book. In fact, it's been said that The Red Tent is what the Bible might have been had it been written by God's daughters, instead of her sons. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'If you don't read it you'll be missing out' Eve; '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 LipmanSee all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved reading about the birth stories and traditions. Wouldn't it be great if we still had "red tents" for women to be together and celebrate menstruation and what it means!Published 6 days ago by Nursing kindle reader
Really accessible book about the fictional life of a character from the bible. It brought biblical times to life and while the traditions and practices are probably supposition,... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
I could not finish this book. I thought it was not well written and some how I could not get into it so at about page 150 I abandoned it. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Gillian Arthur
Too gritty and depressing - the bit in the bible referring to what happened didn't put the brothers involved in the massacre in a brilliant light, but centuries ago people were... Read morePublished 25 days ago by Mary Lane
Great book, love, loss, motherhood. Gripping and poetically written.Published 2 months ago by Hollie
Very disappointing. The story line disrespects the biblical story completely. It might have as well been just "fiction", not "Biblical fiction". Read morePublished 3 months ago by Dan
An excellent novel on the privilege of womanhood intermingled with ancient history. A fascinating perspective on the stories of the Bible.Published 3 months ago by Kindle Customer