BOOK REVIEW: The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

The Blurb (from Goodreads):

Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that are about her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons. Told in Dinah's voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood—the world of the red tent. It 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 sustain her through a hard-working youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah's story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past. Deeply affecting, The Red Tent combines rich storytelling with a valuable achievement in modern fiction: a new view of biblical women's society.

My Thoughts:

‘The Red Tent’ by Anita Diamant was published about 25 years ago, and was a huge bestseller. I never got around to reading it, though, and so I was intrigued when it was chosen by my book club. I did not know much about it, other than that it’s a retelling of a biblical incident involving a woman named Dinah. My knowledge of the bible is absolutely zilch, and so I came to the story with no expectations whatsoever. Rather to my surprise, I loved it!


Basically, Dinah is the daughter of Jacob, who married two sisters, Leah and Rachel, and had about a dozen sons including Joseph of the many-coloured coat. The red tent of the title is the place where women go when they are menstruating. Men are not permitted within, and so the women wait out their cycle, telling stories, singing songs, and sharing feminine wisdom, including forbidden myths of the Great Gddess. Dinah’s aunt Rachel is a midwife and teaches her the craft. But tragedy strikes when Dinah’s brothers murder her husband and all his people. Dinah’s story then becomes one of recovery from her grief and horror, and the rebuilding of her life in Egypt.  The book has a wonderful rhythm to it, making it impossible to put down, and Dinah’s voice feels urgent and true. A wonderful reinvention of a lost woman’s story.

Buy The Book
Kate Forsyth
Written by

You May Also Like

Join my VIP CLUB!

Be the first to hear about my books, retreats and events, and receive exclusive sneak peeks and offers.

    By subscribing you agree to receive my VIP offers and Newsletters. You may unsubscribe at any time. 

    Join my VIP CLUB!
    crosstext-align-left linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram