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Thursday, September 5, 2013

THE RED TENT by ANITA DIAMANT





The Red Tent

This book was a first for me.  Set in Biblical times it somehow lent itself very nicely as a book for modern times. It sounds a bit contradictory but I think the language used was so straight forward and simple that, that added to its appeal.

We have Dinah the daughter of Jacob one daughter in a huge family of only sons. She also has four mothers who are the wives of her father Jacob and who all look on the children as belonging to them all. Dinah is particularly precious to them all. She follows in the footsteps of her aunt who is a renowned midwife and Dinah herself develops this talent so that she becomes the natural follower of her Aunt.

The book is full of such wonderful, descriptive detail of everyday life. Life for women was particularly heavy and harsh. There was work constantly to be done. It was not that easy for the men either but women did have a very hard time. Each person had allotted tasks and heaven help you if you failed in them in any way. There seemed to be no allowance for tiredness or for any frailty of any kind. It was only during a menstrual cycle of three days that women were allowed into "the red tent" to pray and relax and be away from the constant cycle of work.

Dinah's life from following her aunt Rachel to the city as a midwife to her meeting her husband, his subsequent tortured murder and the subsequent way Dinah's life turned is the subject of this story. Beautifully told, not boring at all despite the historical overtones throughout the book, this was an amazing discovery of the life of women in Biblical times.

On a personal note, Shivanthi our daughter has come from Melbourne and it is a permanent round of florists, and favours, beauty salons, pedicures and facials and all sorts of stuff which take the whole day. My son was expected tonight but the flight has been delayed for seven hours in Melbourne and I don't know when to expect him now. He has to take connections from Kuala Lumpur to get here and now we do not know when he will get here.


11 comments:

Anna said...

I've been wanting to read this book for awhile, so I'm glad to see you really liked. I really need to dust off my copy!

bermudaonion said...

Everyone seems to love this book!

Enjoy your family!

Noelle the dreamer said...

I too enjoy the background settings to such biblical novels Mystica!
In thoughts and prayers with you and your family during this exciting time!
(Be sure to drink a cuppa now and then to keep sane! Weddings are a busy time!)
Sending hugs from the Pacific NW coast,

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

How nice to have your children visiting - enjoy.

I did like this book.

Nicola Mansfield said...

Oh, I love biblical fiction and had wanted to read this when it came out. Had forgotten about it! Thanks for the review, it reminded me I still want to read it.

Nise' said...

I hope your son arrives without too many delays! I loved this novel.

Bookworm1858 said...

Glad this worked for you-I actually strongly disliked it though I admired the careful attention to detail and the writing.

Hope your son has arrived by now!

stacybuckeye said...

I tried to read this when it came out forever ago but didn't get very far. I've been meaning to give it another shot. Glad it worked for you :)

Lisa said...

When I read this, I wasn't too sure how much of it was based on research and how much of it Diamont imagined life would have been like. But now knowing the kind of research she does on her books, I think readers get a pretty good idea of what life would have been like. Fascinating to imagine.

Kimberly @ Turning the Pages said...

I've had this one on my to read list for sooo long now. I'm glad you enjoyed it.
-Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

sakura said...

I've also had this title on my list for so long that it almost feels like I've read it! Hah! It does sound very fascinating and I hope I do get to it at some point. Hope your family are all together now.:)