Book Review: The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

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The Red Tent by Anita Diamant is a unique story based on the Book of Genesis from the Old Testament of the Bible from a woman’s perspective. Dinah, whose mothers are Leah, Rachel, Zilpah and Bilbah, is the daughter of Jacob. The stories of her mother’s journey melds neatly into her own.

This book is a moving exploration of what womanhood may have been like in that time period. It is impossible to describe the storyline because passion, treachery, love, lies, action and adventure are all elements of this book. Like many books of this type, the story starts off slow leading into unexpectedly tumultuous cliffhangers where the results are often surprising.

Each of the mothers is a vivid portrait of a woman’s strengths and weaknesses in a time that women’s voices are not recorded. Rachel is known to have been ‘fair,’ but what does that mean for her? Questions like this are fairly answered for each of the women in the book, and this moving story is gripping.

“The oldest story of all could never seem more original, or truer,” quotes James Carrol, author of An American Requiem.

This story is no romance novel but an insightful look into all kinds of different issues that may have faced women in the day, including larger issues such as motherhood, marriage, midwifery and biblical time slavery.

If you liked the DaVinci Code, it is likely that you will enjoy this book as well. Recommended.