Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

I read The Red Tent many years back, and I fell completely in love with it; I just love hearing the voices of the women in the Bible even though they are totally fictional.

My book club decided that The Red Tent would be our book club book for the month of December, and I jumped at the opportunity to read it again.

This time around, I was just as moved as I was the first time.....

This story is told from the perspective of Dinah, the only daughter of Leah and Jacob. Dinah is only mentioned briefly in the Bible, just like most women of the Bible. However, Anita gives Dinah and many of the other women voices and caused me to give the women of the Bible a lot more thought.

For instance, Leah, the mother of Dinah, and Rachel were sisters who were married to the same man. When I read their story, the Bible does not speak of any conflict between these two women, but I can not imagine that these women were not different than most women, and there had to be some type of conflict. Anita, with The Red Tent, helps to make this situation real. (Can’t imagine sharing a husband with any of my sisters or any woman for that matter; I know that we would be showing out for sure.)

What really struck me in this novel is Anita’s description of childbirth. My mind had to wrap around the idea of giving birth without technology and a hospital. Yea, I know that women have been giving birth naturally since the beginning of time, but WOW! No way to see if the baby is breached, no pain medication, no surgeon.....And, these women would have multiples babies and many of the women and the babies died during birth. Anita paints the picture of many of these women suffering tremendously before they died.

If there is any truth to the stories that Anita tells in The Red Tent, My People, the women of the Bible deserve so much more praise and attention than what we give to them.

For two years, I read the One Year Bible, and the One Year Bible gives the reader scriptures to read everyday and by the end of the year, a person would have read the entire bible. The Red Tent has made me think seriously about reading the One Year Bible again, paying close attention to the women.

This is a well-written, entertaining book that I think most readers would enjoy whether a person believes in the Bible or not.

Give this book a try, and let me know what you think....

Off to read Mule Bone by Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston.

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