Told through Dinah's eloquent voice, this sweeping novel reveals the traditions and turmoil of ancient womanhood. Dinah's tale begins with the story of her mothers: Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah, the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that are to sustain her through a hard-working youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land.
Dinah speaks of the world of the red tent, the place where women were sequestered during their cycles of birthing, menses, and illness; of her initiation into the religious and sexual practices of her tribe; of Jacob's courtship with his four wives; of the mystery and wonder of caravans, farmers, shepherds, and slaves; of love and death in the city of Shechem; and of her half-brother Joseph's rise in Egypt.
Passionate, earthy, deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable contribution to modern fiction: a vibrant new perspective of female life in the age that shaped present day civilization and values.
Don't miss Anita Diamant at the 92nd Street Y.
©1997 by Anita Diamant; (P)2000 by Audio Renaissance, An Imprint of Renaissance Media, Inc.
"The oldest story of all could never seem more original, or more true." (James Carroll, author of An American Requiem)
"Carol Bilger narrates with a warmth and melodiousness that echo the rhythm of the musical interludes that separate chapters." (AudioFile)
This is one of my favorite books of all time! Ms. Diamant's imagery and tone allows the reader to step into the crowded, noisy homestead of the family of Jacob, son of Issac. The daily life of the earliest of God's chosen people is something that is passed over in the Bible in favor of the larger more dramatic issues that they struggled with, especially as it pertains to the life of the women and children. Bringing to life a fairly small slice of a fairly insignificant story in Genesis (Dinah, Jacob's only daughter is stolen and raped by the Prince of a nearby town), this book opened up - for me - the entire world that existed during the Old Testament. Suddenly my Bible, especially the harder to chew first five books of the OT, came springing to life, relevant and interesting like it never had been before. This book IS a work of fiction, it's not the Bible, but what it did for me was bring me closer to the Bible. Over the past ten years since I first read this book, I have read and collected more theological texts than I would have thought possible! Raised by adamantly non-practicing Jehovah's witnesses, I count this book as the key that led me to my faith. My relationship with God was immediately and permanently strengthened by reading this book, and then going back and reading my Bible with new eyes. I also view my relationships with my female family and friends differently, and have given this book as a gift to several of them.
trying to see the world through my ears
I stuck with this listen only because so many friends recommended it-- It took three hours before I found the book less than tedious, but in the end it was satisfying though easy listening.
If you're a fan of Walter Wangerin's gentle Bible tales, this may not be for you. If you are one of the "Left Behind" crowd, this is definitely not for you!
I loved the idea behind this book, and the author communicates more about theories of ancient goddess-based worship and its supression than some academic tomes I've slogged through -- and wouldn't "the Mothers" have preferred communcation through narrative?
Some reviewers disliked the modern tone of the narrator, and I struggled with her perkiness, but I think it is the modern sensibility (and occasionally even vocabulary) of the author that keeps creeping into the text itself -- However, it must be so difficult to write otherwise! Let's give some poetic license to the voice of Dinah because she is speaking from outside of time.
I enjoyed this audiobook. It provides an interesting perspective on historical events. The book is credible and well-narrated. You may find it a bit long, but power through and you will find the main character endearing. If you are not into women's literature or women's studies, this book is not for you.
I did not want to enjoy this book. My wife and I recomend three books a year to each other and this was one of my three this year. 12 hours of audio is daunting when it's not something you want to read, but this novel, based on a few chapters of Genesis is fantastic. It follows Dinah, the only daughter of Jacob, son of Issac. I referenced my Bible when reading it to see where the story came from and where it ventured into unknown territory. The story is a saga of one woman's life in biblical times and is enthralling. My only problem with it was some of the descriptions of womenly things were blunt...not vulgar but blunt. I got over it early in the book and went onto reccomend it to friends and family.
Raised as a strict protestant, I think I know the Bible pretty well. This author took an era out of the Old Testament and spun a compelling story around the land, the lifestyles and some facts out of the Bible. But, what I liked the best about this book was a deep exploration of women and their relationships in a very male dominated world. Sharing and caring for each other throughout their lifetimes takes on a larger impetus than in other times and places. This close examination of their lives helped me re-evaluate my own relationship with the women in my life.
This is a wonderful book. Well written and well narrated. I laughed and cried. A great story about women, thier strength and complicated relationships. I am not one to usually like books like this but I must say I really did.
?The Red Tent? was masterfully written by Ms. Diamant. She wove a superb story using biblical characters in such a way that if you grew up reading the scriptures or knew anything about the Bible you would know the only things close to the truth in her story are the historical locations she mentions (hence, the word fiction). You would be spellbound by the visions she creates and thoroughly entertained. Anita has fictionally answered some questions that might have been asked about Isaac. What, if any would be the effect of being offered as a sacrifice? We know that Isaac along with his father, Abraham knew that God would provide. In our human state without faith in God that sort of trauma might leave a lasting scar on a child such as stuttering speech. Did Joseph run all of Egypt? Of course he did because he was blessed by God, but in this fiction Joseph is given Diana's son's creditof being a skilled manager.
If you can separate what you know about the Bible and enjoy the story you could see that this is not a recount of history but a story about people you may have heard or read about in the Bible. If we accept fictional work about the Bible that could be proven possible by scripture, why is it so hard to accept fictional work about Bible characters that is proven as false by the scriptures?
If you think Anita is writing about something she believes to be real and your faith will be shaken don't read this book. If you have an open mind enjoy this book you will not be disappointed.
I'm about half way through listening to this and I'm tempted to switch to reading the book in print because the narrator's voice and style are so irritating. She sounds like a high school actor reading through a play for the first time. After hearing such professional narrators like Nadia May, this woman is amateurish and truly reduces my enjoyment of the book. In addition, there is music but it seems to appear randomly -- not a logical points in the story at all, and only periodically, like it was an afterthought. Very odd. Not what I've come to expect from Audible products at all.
This story was well written with colorful, romantic language and all-in-all was entertaining. I stuck with it because I was curious to see how the author completed the story.
The disappointment was not so much in that the narrative deviates significantly from the biblical account, but that in addition to that the writer takes pains to paint the descendants of Isaac as overwhelmingly unlikable -- indeed, disturbing -- while painting pretty much every other people group as generally upright, kind, and wise.
There may be a bit of truth in her version of the story but it's so deliberately skewed to romanticize the intentions of non-Canaanite in a way that is not terribly believable, while every Canaanite man was almost universally unlikable and vulgar.
This is not a thoughtful, thought-provoking Midrash. It's just a rewriting of the story, making Jacob's family the bad guy in all things, while romanticizing the Egyptians and other neighbors of Canaan.
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