Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

Over the years, I have heard fabulous reviews of this book! I guess it was only a matter of time before I actually picked it up and read it myself!! Here's a little review from Amazon that I really think sums it up nicely . . .

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." 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 --

I would have to say that this was one of the most powerful books that I have recently read. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me angry, but yet, it also was a book that I could relate to and understand in many ways! It's about love, sometimes tragic, and loss. It's about being a woman and the power of the women in our lives, both the negative and the positive. The book is VERY descriptive about the life of a woman, including the beginning of puberty, sexual relations, becoming a mother, and even some violence. I was amazed at how well the author was able to bring me into the world of Dinah so easily. Honestly, when I finished, all I could say was "Wow!"

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